Page:Natural History, Mollusca.djvu/279

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267
FRESHWATER MUSSELS.

the late Duchess of Ormond.' 'The pearl,' Sir Robert observes, 'lies in the toe, or lesser end, at the extremity of the gut, and out of the body of the fish, between the two films or skins that line the shell.' He remarks that they correspond with calculi in other animals.

"The pearls of the Conway had great fame. According to Pennant a notion prevails in Wales, 'that Sir Richard Wynne, of Gwydir, Chamberlain to Catherine, queen of Charles the Second, presented her majesty with a pearl from the Conway, which is to this day honoured with a place in the regal crown.' He says the Pearl Mussels are called by the Welsh Cregin Diluw, or Deluge Shells, as if left there by the flood. Mr. Wilson, of Warrington, in 'Loudon's Magazine of Natural History' for June, 1830, says they are taken in the upper part of the Conway, near Llanrwst, but the search is very precarious. He mentions a Scotch pearl half an inch in diameter. In Scotland, the Tay was the seat of a pearl-fishery, extending from Perth to Loch Tay. 'It is said,' writes Captain Brown, 'that the pearls sent from thence to London, from the year 1761 to 1764, were worth ten thousand pounds sterling; and it is not uncommon at the present time to find pearls in the Teith and Tay worth from one to two pounds each.' The variety Roissyi of this Unio was formerly much sought for in the river near Braddan, in the Isle of Man, on account of its pearls."[1]

  1. Forbes and Hanley; Brit. Moll. ii. 149; et seq.