Thanks HTS for Entomologist's Weekly Intelligencer [no. 2, 12 Apr 1856]. Agrees with his remarks [in "Why did Mr Westwood get the Royal Medal?"], but explains that a change in rules for awarding the Royal Medal has been made. Earlier it had to be given for publications in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, which explains small number of entomologist recipients.
Down Bromley Kent
I am much obliged to you for so courteously sending me a copy of
“Entomologist Weekly Intelligencer”.— I do not suppose that I ought to mention anything which passed on the Council.
But I may say that I individually have nothing to object to in your
remarks.— I can see, however, that apparently you
are not aware of a most important change made 3 years ago, with consent of the
Queen, in the distribution of the Royal Medals; before that time it was compulsory in
the Council to give it to men for publications in the Transactions, & this will
explain, if you take the trouble to look at the names, the cause of many of the
awards.— It was, I think, an extremely bad rule. Hence I think you
will perceive why, except to M
Since the rule was changed, the 3 recipients have been myself, (when I was not
on council) D
Pray believe me | Dear Sir | Yours very faithfully | Ch. Darwin
- f1 1853.f1Dated by the reference to the Entomologist's Weekly Intelligencer, which began publication on 5 April 1856.
- f2 1853.f2Stainton was the founder and editor of the Entomologist's Weekly Intelligencer. He had previously corresponded with CD about another entomological publication of his, the Entomologists' Annual (see Correspondence vol. 5, letter to H. T. Stainton, 20 October ).
- f3 1853.f3The second number of the Entomologist's Weekly Intelligencer (12 April 1856) opened with an unsigned editorial, clearly written by Stainton, entitled ‘Why did Mr. Westwood get the Royal Medal?’. John Obadiah Westwood had been awarded the medal in 1855 (see n. 5, below). Stainton thought the award was long overdue and complained that Westwood's most famous contribution to science had been published many years previously (Westwood 1839–40). He concluded that the recent recognition of Westwood's merits was because entomology was now ‘more prominent than formerly’ ([Stainton] 1856, p. 9–10).
- f4 1853.f4George Newport was awarded the Royal Medal in 1851, not for his entomological work but for his physiological investigations in Newport 1851, which had been published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. None of Westwood's papers had appeared in the Philosophical Transactions.
- f5 1853.f5It had been CD who had nominated Westwood for the Royal Medal in 1855 (see Correspondence vol. 5, letter to T. H. Huxley, 31 March ). In his nomination text, CD had cited Westwood's ‘Introduction’ (Westwood 1839–40) and his ‘various Monographs and Papers on Entomology’ (Royal Society council minutes). However, since Westwood 1839–40 had been published more than ten years previously, under the new rules it had to be excluded from the citation.