James Torbitt

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James Torbitt (c. 1822–1895) was an Irish spirit merchant based in Belfast. From 1878 he exchanged several letters with Charles Darwin regarding the artificial breeding of potato plants that were resistant to potato blight that devastated Ireland in the Great Potato Famine.[1] Darwin also discussed this with Hooker, and others.


  1. ^ Arch Nat Hist. 2008;35(2):208-22. Correspondence of Charles Darwin on James Torbitt's project to breed blight-resistance potatoes. Michael DeArce. see http://www.tara.tcd.ie/bitstream/2262/25059/1/ANH35.2%20Dearce.pdf