Uk; raised c.1825 by Richard Cox, retired brewer, at Colnbrook Lawn, Slough, Bucks. Believed from pip of Ribston Pippin. Introduced c.1850, probably by Smales and Son, Colnbrook. Probably first exhibited 1856 at Brit. Pom. Soc. by W Ingram, head gardener to Queen Victoria. Syns many European. RHS FCC 1962.
Perfectly ripe, deliciously sweet and enticing with rich, intense, aromatic flavour; deep cream flesh. Described as spicy, honeyed, nutty, pear-like, but subtle blend of great complexity. Not as strong or sharp as Ribston Pippin, softer fleshed, more regularly shaped and smaller; ideal for 19th Century dessert. Voted best dessert apple of south at 1883 Congress; in 1895 RHS Fruit Committee found it best apple from Oct-Jan. Probably first grown commercially by Thomas Rivers, nursery man in Herts; taken up by London and Vale of Evesham market gardeners and by 1890s being planted by Kent farmers. Problems with disease led to its rejection in early 1900s, but regained commercial popularity with introduction of lime sulphur sprays in 1920s. Since 1970s main English apple; also grown in Holland, Belgium, Germany and New Zealand.