Asks JB to obtain information about pigeons.
Inquires where his article has been published ["On the discovery of Cnicus tuberosus at Avebury, Wilts.", Ann. & Mag. Nat. Hist. 2d ser. 20 (1857): 337–9].
Down Bromley Kent
My dear Sir
I want to beg a favour of you & sh
Supposing that for any reason you do not like to do this; will you let me know,
& I will ask my cousin M
I have lately seen a short abstract in Athenæum of a communication by you on
the variation of Plants by culture read before Brit. Assoc.— I feel the deepest & most lively interest in these researches of
yours— Will you tell me whether they will be published in detail
& soon? For I must get the volume whenever published.—
I hope that you will forgive my troubling you, & believe me | My dear Sir | Yours very faithfully | Ch. Darwin
(1)Whence were the Smiters procured: if from abroad what name did they bear?
(2)What are the peculiarities in their habits?
(3)Will they display their peculiarities in a cage, some 5 or 6 yards long by 4 or 5 broad & ten ft high? Or must they be quite free.—
(4).Are the peculiarities the same in Cock & Hen? are they equally displayed in all; or are some Birds much better than others? I refer of course, only to pure bred Birds.—
(5)Do they breed true in form & colour?
- f1 2151.f1Dated by CD's interest in smiter pigeons (see n. 3, below).
- f2 2151.f2Buckman was professor of geology and botany at the Royal Agricultural College at Cirencester from 1848. He worked particularly on varieties of agricultural plants (see nn. 5, 7, and 8, below).
- f3 2151.f3CD recorded a payment of 10s. for smiters on 12 September 1857 (CD's Account book (Down House MS)). See also letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 29 September .
- f4 2151.f4Edward Holland, who lived in Dumbleton, north Gloucestershire, was CD's second cousin.
- f5 2151.f5Buckman communicated a ‘Report on the experimental plots in the botanical garden of the Royal Agricultural College at Cirencester’ to the 1857 meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (Buckman 1857). Buckman's paper was reported in Athenæum, 12 September 1857, p. 1157. An offprint of Buckman 1857, inscribed ‘With the authors compliments.’ and containing annotations by CD, is in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL.
- f6 2151.f6George Bentham.
- f7 2151.f7Buckman had delivered an earlier report to the British Association (Buckman 1856). In this paper, he had concluded that the common agricultural clover, Trifolium medium, had merged into T. pratense.
- f8 2151.f8There is a note in DAR 47: 65 that reads:
Such cases as Cowslip & Primrose— Prof. Buckman experiments on Plants are the most hostile to *that part of [interl] my theory *of selection [del] which attributes so much to selection— (so Orchis case?) though favourable to change of some kind— shows effect direct of excess of food Ch 6.CD refers to Buckman's belief that many agricultural plants usually thought to be distinct species were really only variants that had arisen as a result of cultivation and the differences in fertility of various soils.