This section is from the book "The Fruit Manual: Containing The Descriptions And Synonyms Of The Fruits And Fruit Trees Of Great Britain", by Robert Hogg. Also available from Amazon: The Fruit Manual.
Fruit, small or below medium size, from two to two and a quarter inches wide, and two and a quarter to two and a half high; obovate, even in its outline. Skin, entirely covered with warm brown russet, and sprinkled all over with darker brown russet dots. Eye, small and open, with erect, acute segments, set in a small round basin. Stalk, from half an inch to three-quarters long, slender, obliquely inserted by the side of a fleshy lip. Flesh, yellowish white, gritty, juicy, and sweet.
A worthless pear; ripe in the end of October, when it rots at the core. In 1866 I found it very astringent and with a disagreeable flavour. In 1867 it was not astringent, but sweet, and of no character.
It was raised by Van Mons, and the tree became the property of M. Charles Durieux, of Brussels. On being submitted to the Royal Commission of Pomology in 1853, it was named in honour of M. Auguste Royer, of Namur, the President of the Commission.
Fruit, small, growing in clusters, an inch and a quarter long, and the same in breadth; roundish turbinate. Skin, smooth, green at first, but changing as it ripens to fine deep yellow, and where fully exposed to the sun washed with light red, but where shaded entirely yellow. Eye, large and open, with long reflexed segments, and placed in a shallow depression. Stalk, an inch long, inserted without depression. Flesh, yellowish white, crisp and juicy, with a sugary and pleasant Muscat flavour.
A dessert pear of ordinary quality; ripe in the middle of August, and continues in use for about fourteen days.
The tree attains a large size, and is a vigorous grower, a very abundant bearer, and thrives better on the pear than the quince. It is one of the earliest pears, succeeding the Petit Muscat in about eight days, but has the advantage over that variety in being larger and better-flavoured.
Fruit, small, two inches and a half wide, and the same in depth; roundish and somewhat depressed. Skin, yellowish green, with dull brown on the side next the sun, and covered all over with rough grey russet specks. Eye, small and open, set in a shallow basin. Stalk, half an inch long, stout, inserted in a wide, round, and even cavity. Flesh, greenish white, slightly gritty at the core, but otherwise tender, melting, juicy, and richly flavoured.
An old dessert pear of the first quality; ripe in October. The tree is a vigorous grower and hardy, forms a handsome standard, and is a most abundant bearer. It succeeds well either on the pear or quince.
It has been stated by Switzer, and by some subsequent writers, evidently on his authority, that the Autumn Bergamot "has been an inhabitant of our island ever since the time that Julius Caesar conquered it. Possibly it was the Assyrian Pear of Virgil (Quod a Syria translata fuisset), say some commentators, and was, as may be deduced from thence, part of the furniture of the once celebrated and famous gardens of Alcinous." As this can be only conjecture on the part of Switzer, and is unsupported by evidence, I think it extremely improbable. It is rather singular, notwithstanding this statement, that he is the first English author who mentions it, for it is not in the lists of Rea, Worledge, or Evely n, nor in the very comprehensive list of Leonard Meager, of the fruits which were cultivated in the London nurseries in 1688. Neither is it even mentioned by Rea, Ralph Austin, Parkinson, nor William Lawson, and, indeed, by no author is it recorded prior to Switzer himself. Parkinson speaks of the Winter Bergamot as "of two or three sorts, being all of them small fruit, somewhat greener on the outside than the summer kindes; all of them very delicate and good in their due time; so some will not be fit to bee eaten when others are well-nigh spent, every of them outlasting another by a moneth or more." But of the Autumn Bergamot we have no early record.