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, medium sized, two inches and a half wide, and three inches high; obovate, blunt at the stalk, even and regularly shaped. Skin, green, becoming yellowish green as it ripens, strewed with large russet specks, and tinged with reddish brown next the sun; a broad zone of rather rough russet encircles the fruit about an inch distant from the eye. Eye, rather open, with short segments, set in around saucer-like basin. Stalk, nearly two inches long, slender, set in a round cavity. Flesh, crisp, very juicy, brisk, and refreshing, sometimes with a slight astringency.
It was raised by M. Goubault, a nurseryman at Mille-Pieds, Route de Saumur, Angers.
Fruit, varying from medium size to large; obtuse pyriform, blunt, and rounded at the stalk. Skin, dark green, and covered with numerous large dark brown russety spots. Eye, small and open, with short acute segments, and set in a slight depression. Stalk, an inch and a half long, slender, and generally obliquely inserted in a wide shallow cavity. Flesh, greenish white, buttery, melting, and very juicy, with a rich and vinous flavour.
A very valuable winter dessert pear; in use from February till May. Tree, hardy, vigorous, and an abundant bearer; succeeds well as a standard, and from which, although not so large, the fruit is richer flavoured than from a wall. This is one of the most valuable late pears, as it is at maturity when few others are in season. In northern climates it requires a wall.
Much ink has been shed in discussing the origin of Beurré Rance, and the source of the name; but there can be no doubt that it was raised by Abbe Harden-pont of Mons about 1762. Some say that its name is derived from the village of Rans or Ranee, in Hainault, where the original tree was found, but the account given by Van Mons and Serrurier (Fruitkundig Woordenboek, vol. ii., p. 273) sets the matter at rest, and attributes its origin distinctly as a seedling raised by Hardenpont. M. de puydt, in his notice of the pears of Mons, says that M. Gossart informed him that one day Abbe Hardenpont having invited some connoisseurs to his house to taste his new pear, of whom he expected much, they were divided in their opinions, and some one ventured to say that the flavour was rance. "Rance!" he exclaimed; "if such be your opinion we shall call it Beurré Ranée as a record of your bad taste."
M. Gilbert (Les Fruits Belues) says, "The word ranee ought not to be taken in this instance in the sense of the French adjective which indicates a certain state of fatty substances; we believe that it is a Walloon term derived from the Flemish word rens, or more correctly reinsch, which signifies acid, but which may also be taken for the Rhine (du Rhin), and probably this is the origin of the synonyme Beurré du Rhin (Rhynsche pear)"
Beurré de Rhin. See Beurré de Rance,