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Letter 341

Darwin, E. C. to Darwin, C. R.

15 [Jan 1837]

    Summary Add

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    Morning Herald had an account of CD's 80 specimens of Mammalia and 450 birds at the Zoological Society.

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    John Gould has described new species in CD's Galapagos birds.

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    Much interest in CD's "Laurels".

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    Family news.

Transcription

Sunday Evening. | 15th

My dear Charles.

Many thanks for your very agreeable long letter, which we enjoyed very much, and we all unite in begging you not to care how untidy your letters are; you may depend on it, we shall be able to make them out, and only beg you will send us a hurried quick scrawl, whenever you have a spare half hour.— Caroline desires me to tell you that neither Procter, Miers, nor Caldcleugh are in the Library, only Head, which C. will read, and examine about what you mention,—and then write to you.— The St John is packed up carefully, and goes tomorrow to Erasmus, with a letter; does he know of your generosity? he will be exceedingly pleased, by such a pretty attention, I am sure.— My Father is afraid he can give you but little information about the wages for Covington; country and town servants' terms being very different; the wages he gives are from £28 to £32; he thinks however that you will have no difficulty in enquiring about it, and settling with your Man.— We were exceedingly pleased to hear of all your success in London; especially Papa;—and pray write out about all your laurels; we enjoy hearing them so much, that it is hard we should lose any.— The Morning Herald of last Thursday contained an account of your 80 specimens of mammalia, and 450 birds, which were on the table at the Zoological Society; Mr Gould also described the 11 species from the Gallapagos, & all new.— Sarah Williams cut out this passage, and gave it me to take to read to Papa.— She returns to London next week, and hopes that you will sometime take her to see your birds,—which she would enjoy doing very much.— The Felis Darwinnia also is mentioned in that paragraph. Papa wants to know what gratitude the Zoological have shewn you; they aught at least to make you an honorary Member.—

We expect Susan to return home tomorrow from Staffordshire with Harry & Jessie, who are coming to pay us a visit.— You did quite right to direct Mrs S. W.— Hensleigh writes word that the book is to be in 3 distinct Volumes King, Fitzroy, and Darwin;— how much the most interesting the 3d will be; —but I wish they were really three distinct works; they would each individually have a greater Sale, I am sure.—

I have been very gay lately, having been to two Balls, two nights running, the last was a private Ball at Acton Burnell (Sir Edward Smythe's) and I was not in bed till 7 o'clock in the morning. I went with the Owens from Eaton, where there is one of their immense rigadoons again.— William Owen is at home now.— Mrs Leighton & Clare have decided to remain in Shrewsbury and have taken the middle house in Claremont Buildings, which is also one of the smallest; are not you sorry for them having such a fall? I think they are very foolish not to move out of this country, for Clare is too well known to do any good here. Emma Wedgwood sets out tomorrow to Edinburgh, with Jos for her companion; it is very spirited of her going in this weather, and I hope Lady Gifford will make her visit answer.— What an account you give of Mrs Fitzroy's beauty; you must have had a nice evening with them.—

Papa desires me to tell you that he has had a letter from Mrs Sneyd, with a great many enquiries about you;—and Papa would take it as a kindness from you, if when you are in London, you would sometime go down to Blackheath to call on them.—

Goodbye, dearest old Charley— Papa's best love to you— | ever yrs | E. C. Darwin

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 341.f1
    Caroline Sarah Darwin.
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    f2 341.f2
    Proctor 1825.
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    f3 341.f3
    Miers 1826.
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    f4 341.f4
    Caldcleugh 1825.
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    f5 341.f5
    Head 1826.
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    f6 341.f6
    Erasmus Alvey Darwin.
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    f7 341.f7
    Syms Covington became CD's servant in the Beagle and remained with him as assistant, secretary, and servant until 1839.
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    f8 341.f8
    The Morning Herald, 12 January 1837, p. 5. CD had delivered his collection of birds and mammals to the Zoological Society on 4 January. The Society's minutes acknowledged a letter from CD announcing ‘a present to the Society of his entire Collection …’ (quoted in Sulloway 1982b, pp. 356–7).
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    f9 341.f9
    The reference is to John Gould's paper of 10 January on the Galápagos finches (Gould 1837). Gould eventually settled upon thirteen as the number of new species. For a discussion of his difficulties in classifying the finches, see Sulloway 1982a, 1982b.
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    f10 341.f10
    William Charles Linnaeus Martin discussed three species of the genus Felis, one of which he thought might be new—‘in the event of its ultimately being considered distinct’ he proposed that it should be called Felis darwinii (see Martin 1837). Later, in Mammalia, pp. 16–18, George Robert Waterhouse described it, but ‘[having] since seen many specimens’, classified it as a variety of Felis yagouaroundi.
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    f11 341.f11
    Susan Elizabeth Darwin and Harry and Jessie Wedgwood.
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    f12 341.f12
    Sarah Elizabeth (Sarah) Wedgwood.
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    f13 341.f13
    Hensleigh Wedgwood.
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    f14 341.f14
    Journal and remarks, which was the third volume of Narrative.
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    f15 341.f15
    The seat of Edward Smythe, seven miles south of Shrewsbury.
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    f16 341.f16
    The Mostyn Owen family of Woodhouse. Eaton Mascott was the home of Sarah (née Owen) and Edward Hosier Williams.
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    f17 341.f17
    Josiah Wedgwood III.
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    f18 341.f18
    The 1845 Post Office directory of the six home counties lists a Mrs M. Sneyd of Dell Lodge, Dartmouth Row, Blackheath, Kent.
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