PGK's letter stirred memories of their old days in the Beagle.
Gives news of his work on cirripedes. Would like to examine Scalpellum papillosum of King from Patagonia if PGK's father has a duplicate in his collection.
Down | Farnborough, | Kent.
Feb. 21. 1854.
My dear King
I can hardly tell you how pleased I was, about a week ago, to receive your letter dated
I have been much interested by your account of the Gold Companies &c
&c. How fortunate it is that Sulivan did not accept the offer to go out made by
some one of the many Companies. If I am not mistaken, the
I have lately published one volume, & am now preparing a second, on Cirripedes
or Barnacles. They have turned out very curious, &
were very little known. I have been at the work so many years that I am wearied of the
subject: but there is one single species, which I believe is in your Father's
collection, namely Scalpellum papillosum of King from Patagonia, which I
I can tell you hardly any news of our old ship-mates; I saw FitzRoy rather lately, & he looked very well & was very cordial to me. Poor fellow, I fear besides his other misfortunes, he is rather poor; at least he has given up House-keeping. Stokes I have not seen or heard of for an age: I tried several times to get him to come down here, but with no success. I hear he is to have the offer of the command of the Northern exploring expedition into the interior. I saw Sulivan in the summer, & he was hearty & merry as ever: we went together & saw the grand reviews at Chobham, where 10,000 men were encamped.— Talking of soldiers, makes me think what a dreadful misfortune, the near imminence of war is.—
Farewell my dear Philip King, I shall ever think of our old days of friendship with great pleasure; and I hope that your sons may turn out half as nice Boys as you were when you joined the Beagle, & then any parent might be satisfied.
Your affectionate friend | C. Darwin
Should you ever be inclined to write again, I sh
- f1 1554a.f1King's letter has not been found. He settled in Australia in 1836 after having been midshipman aboard the Beagle. In 1854, he was assistant superintendent of the estates of the Australian Agricultural Company and manager of the Peel River Land and Mining Company and lived in Goonoo Goonoo, New South Wales (Nicholas and Nicholas 1989, p. 133).
- f2 1554a.f2CD and Emma Darwin had five sons and two daughters. The oldest, William Erasmus Darwin, was attending Rugby School.
- f3 1554a.f3CD expressed the same wish in a letter to Syms Covington, 21 October 1853 (Correspondence vol. 5).
- f4 1554a.f4Paul Edmund de Strzelecki, whom CD first met in 1844 (see Correspondence vol. 3). Strzelecki explored the Australian interior in 1839 and 1840.
- f5 1554a.f5George Warde Norman and his wife Sibella lived near CD in Bromley, Kent. Sibella Norman's sister Emily had married James Macarthur and emigrated to Australia in 1838. CD refers to King's mother Harriet King, who was related by marriage to several branches of the Macarthur family.
- f6 1554a.f6Phillip Parker King, commander of the Adventure and Beagle on a surveying expedition to South America, 1826--30, had settled in Australia in 1834. It has not been possible to determine the date of his visit to England.
- f7 1554a.f7Charles Stokes, a London stockbroker and naturalist, died in 1853.
- f8 1554a.f8Living Cirripedia (1851) described the pedunculated cirripedes. Living Cirripedia (1854), which described the sessile cirripedes, appeared in September 1854.
- f9 1554a.f9CD had listed P. P. King's description of Scalpellum papillosum in Living Cirripedia (1851): 375 under `Species dubiæ', stating that it had been `so imperfectly described, that not even the number of the valves is given' and citing King and Broderip 1832--4 as his source. CD did not mention the species in Living Cirripedia (1854).
- f10 1554a.f10CD identified the small, `complemental' males of Scalpellum in 1848 (see Correspondence vol. 4, letter to J. D. Hooker, 10 May 1848). The discovery was particularly noteworthy in relation to CD's view of the origin of sexual dimorphism (see ibid., Appendix II, pp. 399--400).
- f11 1554a.f11Robert FitzRoy had commanded the Beagle expedition, 1831--6, on which CD and King had sailed. His wife died in 1852. For CD's meeting with FitzRoy, see Correspondence vol. 5, letter to Syms Covington, 21 October 1853.
- f12 1554a.f12John Lort Stokes shared a cabin with CD during the Beagle voyage. From 1851, after completing a naval survey of New Zealand, Stokes was on half-pay in England. In the end, he did not command the northern exploring expedition.
- f13 1554a.f13Bartholomew James Sulivan was another Beagle contemporary. CD refers to the large military encampment established from May to August 1853 in Chobham, Surrey, for exercising the troops stationed in England. Operations in the field commenced on 21 June when Queen Victoria watched a mock battle; `prodigious crowds' visited the encampment during the summer (Annual register (1853), Chronicle, pp. 77--9). For Sulivan's interest in home defence, see Correspondence vol. 5, letter to W. D. Fox, 7 March . The visit to Chobham with Sulivan took place on 13 August 1853 (see Correspondence vol. 5, Appendix I and p. 539 n. 22). It is described in Emma Darwin 2: 154.
- f14 1554a.f14Britain and France declared war on Russia in January 1854.