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Letter 6522

Henslow, George to Darwin, C. R.

[after 22 February1869]


Sends information from a Kent sheep-breeder.


S. Johns Parsonage | S. Johns wood | N.W.

Dear Mr Darwin,

I send you a “case” which I think might have some little interest foryou.—f2 as follows:

A Ewe of the Kentish breed, belonging to Mr Beard of Norton nrCanterbury,f3 gave birth to twins, one of which was a pure Kentishbreed, like its mother and father; the other a pure Southdown f4 &continued as such through life. I put the follg. questions to him, & thereplies are Mr Beard’s answers.f5

1. In what particulars did the twin lamb resemble the Southdownbreed?

1. as to Head? Face dark.

2. as to body? wool short.

3. as to limbs? dark.

The Resemblance in all points was like a down.

Had the parent ewe ever been covered by a Southdown ram? notknown.

Had any of the ancestry of the ewe ever been crossed by aSouthdown ram?

not known.

Had the ewe any opportunity of seeing a flock, or even oneconstantly, while pregnant, or before that time?

Do not think it had.

Do you think Pangenesis would be the probable explanation of thephenomenon? by some early crossing not known, if so, it seemscurious that it should reappear when twins were born & in only oneof them!

Yrs very truly | G Henslow

DAR 166: 167



The date is established by the relationship between this letter andthe letter from George Henslow, 22 February 1869.
See letter from George Henslow, 22 February 1869 and n. 1.
Mr Beard has not been further identified.
Henslow probably refers to the Romney, an ancient longwool breed,named after Romney Marsh in south Kent, where it originated. ForSouthdown sheep, see the letter from J. V. Carus, 2 February 1869 andn. 5.
The underlined answers, from ‘Face dark.’ to ‘Do not think ithad.’ are not in Henslow’s hand.
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