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Letter 1274

Darwin, C. R. to Fitch, Robert

3 Dec [1849]

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    Asks to borrow specimen of Pollicipes from the Chalk.


Down Farnborough Kent

Dec. 3d


I hope that you will excuse the liberty I take in addressing you.— I am employed on a monograph on the Cirripedia, recent & fossil, for the Ray. Soc.— I am very anxious to see as many specimens as possible.— I have now at my house numerous specimens from Mrss Bowerbank, S. Wood, Buckman & James de C. Sowerby &c; & a number are on their way to me from Prof. Steentrup of Copenhagen.— Mr John Morris writes to me that you have a Pollicipes from the Chalk, & he thinks that you would perhaps be so kind as to entrust it to me for examination. If you are willing to confer so great a favour on me, I shall feel very much obliged; & in that case, might I keep your specimen for a few weeks, for I want to compare as many specimen as possible together—& I hope soon to have several more sent me.—

If you send it, I shd think, if the specimen be not very heavy, registered by Post wd be the safest way, & I wd take the liberty of returning you the Postage— If by parcel, the direction shd be exactly as follows C. Darwin Esq care of G. Snow Nag's Head Borough London.—

I hope that you will forgive my having taken the liberty to ask so great a favour.—

I beg to remain | Dear Sir | Your faithful servant | Charles Darwin

Would you inform me if you know, from what part of the Chalk your specimen came?—

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 1274.f1
    The Ray Society published the two volumes of Living Cirripedia (1851, 1854). The two volumes of Fossil Cirripedia were published by the Palaeontographical Society (1851, 1854).
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    f2 1274.f2
    Searles Valentine Wood and James Buckman. In Fossil Cirripedia (1851): v, CD thanked Buckman for ‘a fine series of the valves of Pollicipes ooliticus, the most ancient Cirripede as yet known, discovered and named by him.’
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    f3 1274.f3
    John Morris, with Daniel Sharpe, had identified the fossil shells CD had collected on the Falkland Islands. See South America, p. 151, and Morris and Sharpe 1846.
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    f4 1274.f4
    Two specimens of Pollicipes from Fitch's collection (P. angelini and P. striatus) were described by CD. Both are said to come from the Upper Chalk, Norwich.
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