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Letter 13854

Wedgwood, Hensleigh to Darwin, C. R.

[13–19 Mar 1859]

    Summary Add

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    HW has confirmed the report in the Times of a shower of fish (minnows and sticklebacks) that fell on the Wedgwood colliery.

Transcription

Oxford & Cambridge Club

My dear Charles

I don't know whether you admit those showers of fishes as an undoubted fact, but I ascertained that this was certainly the case with the one mentioned in the Times last week. The fishes fell in a violent shower of rain in the yard of our colliery over a space of about 100 yards long by 14 or 15 broad A large proportion fell on the roof of our engineers shed about 25 high in the ridge Others in a puddle in the yard which is dry in dry weather & these were living & were gathered by several of the people. The overlooker had a lot of them in a goldfish jar which were minnows & stickleback

The birds were busy with those that fell on the roof which of course were killed

A story loses nothing by telling & a lady on the train told us she understood they were forced to sweep them away with besoms.

Affecty yours | H Wedgwood

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 13854.f1
    The date is that of the week following the report in The Times mentioned in the letter (see n. 2, below).
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    f2 13854.f2
    A fall of fishes was described in a letter to The Times, 10 March 1859, p. 7. The letter reported that the event had taken place on 9 February 1859 at the village of Mountain Ash in Glamorganshire.
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    f3 13854.f3
    Mountain Ash is located in the great coalfield of South Wales. The Wedgwood China Company owned a colliery in nearby Llanhilleth, which was connected by railway to a branch of the Monmouthshire canal in which the Wedgwood family were prominent investors (see Hadfield 1967, pp. 127, 131).
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    f4 13854.f4
    The number of CD's portfolio of notes on the means of dispersal of plants and animals.
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