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Letter 1884

Darwin, C. R. to Lubbock, John

[14 Jan 1856]

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    Inquires about a Mr Smith, who might prove helpful "in the domestic bird line".

Transcription

Down

Monday

Dear Lubbock

Very many thanks for the Books; I had meant to have sent you a line on Sunday, but quite forgot it myself.— Indeed we are all sick & miserable, & I hardly care even for Pigeons, so may guess what a condition I am in! Nevertheless, I have life left in me to ask whether you ever saw the Chinese Mr Smith: pray do not trouble yourself to write, if you have to send a negative; but if affirmative I would write to him, if you think there is any chance of his helping me in the domestic Bird line.—

Yours most truly | C. Darwin

Did you ever give orders to preserve corpses of Sebright Bantams?—

Forgive so much trouble.— | Adios

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 1884.f1
    The endorsement is confirmed by the reference to CD's ill health: according to the letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 14 January [1856], he had been ill for the past week. The first Monday in January was the 7th, but it is unlikely that this letter was written then because CD was well enough to attend the Philoperisteron Society Show on 8 January (see letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 1 January [1856], n. 2).
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    f2 1884.f2
    Probably George Smith, bishop of Victoria, Hong Kong, who was the son-in-law of the rector of Beckenham, Kent.
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    f3 1884.f3
    John Saunders Sebright had crossed a common bantam with a Polish fowl, then recrossed the offspring with a hen-tailed bantam to obtain the famous Sebright bantam, a small fowl in which the cock lacks male plumage (see Variation 2: 54).
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