William Pears

Williams von Chr├ętien 1822.png
Williams Pear. 1822 engraving by the London Horticultural Society
Species Pyrus Communis
Variety "Williams"
Origin: Aldermaston, England, 1765-1770
Williams von Chretien pears, commonly known in the United States and Canada as Williams pears or Bartlett pears, are the most commonly grown pear variety in most countries outside of Asia.

It is a cultivar (cultivar) of the genus Pear, commonly known as European pear. The fruit is bell-shaped and is considered the traditional pear shape in the West, with a green skin that later turns yellow when ripe, although red-skinned derivatives also exist. It is not as cold hardy as some varieties and is considered a summer pear. It is often eaten raw, but it holds its shape well when baked and is often used in canned and other processed pears.

Bartlett Pair from Ulysses Prentiss Hedrick's The Pears of New York (1921)
The origin of this breed is uncertain. "Bon Chr├ętien" (Good Christian) is named after Saint Francis de Paola, revered by Louis XI. The King of France came to his deathbed as a healer in 1483. Francis presented the King with seeds of pears from his native Calabria, along with instructions on how to plant and care for them. Therefore, the pear tree was called "good Christian". The Williams pear is thought to date from 1765 to 1770 from the yard of an Aldermaston, England, schoolmaster named John Stair,[1] giving rise to the now-obscure synonyms 'Aldermaston' pear and 'Stairs' pear. A nurseryman named Williams later acquired the variety, and after introducing it to the rest of England, the pear became known as the Williams Pear.[2] However, the pear's full name is Williams' Bon Chretien, or "Williams' good Christian."[2]

In 1799 James Carter imported several Williams trees into the United States, and they were planted on the grounds of Thomas Brewer in Roxbury, Massachusetts.[2] The Massachusetts estate was later acquired by Enoch Bartlett of Dorchester, Massachusetts. Unaware of their origin, Bartlett named the pears after himself and introduced the variety into the United States. It was not realised that Bartlett and Williams Pears were the same until 1828, when new trees arrived from Europe.[2] By that time the Bartlett variety had become vastly popular in the United States, and they are still generally known as Bartlett pears in the US and Canada.

William - Bartlett - Forelle - Bosque - Communis