CD approves of HES's "laws" [of nomenclature]. Regrets that [J. E.?] Gray does not approve of the scheme. CD has sent the paper to William Ogilby and suggests that HES send it to G. R. Waterhouse, of whom he has a high opinion.
12 Upper Gower St
My dear Strickland
I am sorry I had not the pleasure of seeing you the other day, but I had been unwell the whole week.— I have read carefully your laws & suggestions & have been able to make only one or two unimportant notes.— As far as my judgment goes, the laws appear very well digested & clearly written.—
I am sorry M
Wishing you much success in the very desirable end, you have proposed. Believe me | Yours very faithfully | Charles Darwin.
- f1 619.f1CD refers to a printed draft of a committee report to the British Association on the subject of zoological nomenclature eventually published as Strickland et al. 1842. The committee, including both Strickland and CD, had been formally established by the Council of the British Association on 11 February (Strickland et al. 1842, pp. 105–6). The report generally rejected the practice of would-be reformers and insisted on the rule of priority. It was widely accepted as a standard by zoologists in most countries until the 1890s (Stresemann 1975, pp. 264–7).
- f2 619.f2CD has made comments on the draft. Against the sentence: ‘By emanating from a body [the British Association for the Advancement of Science] which has not improperly been termed the Parliament of Science … ’, CD has written ‘[illeg] will not foreigners demur.—’. Against the passage: ‘A name may be changed which, from implying a false proposition, is liable to propagate error’, CD has written ‘This appears to me left far too open—all comparatives & many superlatives, as minor, maximus may be changed, when a smaller or larger species is discovered: False geographical names, appear to me almost the only ones which should be changed. C Darwin’. Following this is written, ‘I quite agree with Darwin. L. Jenyns’.
- f3 619.f3Presumably John Edward Gray. Though not a member of the committee, Gray exercised great influence through his position as keeper of the zoological department of the British Museum.
- f4 619.f4William Ogilby, a committee member.
- f5 619.f5George Robert Waterhouse was later added to the committee along with several other zoologists.