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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. B. Tegetmeier   18 July [1871]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

July 18th

My dear Sir

I am very sorry to hear about the skull. My vague impression is that I returned it to you separately. After returning to you the main lot, I made a selection of all my skeletons & catalogued them & sent them to the British Museum, & threw away all the refuse.2 As I knew the Horned Skull well (& still remember it perfectly) & knew that you valued it, I could not by accident have sent it to the B. Museum. To make sure I have looked through 2 cupboards & a Box, in which I kept all skeletons, & I find my memory correct, for there is not a bone of any kind left. I think that you must have put the skull somewhere or lent it to some one. I cannot believe that I neglected to return it to you.— I am very sorry for its loss.—

Many thanks for the interesting account of the cat show, & especially for the skin & capital case of the Turbit.—3

With my sincere thanks | Yours very faithfully | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from W. B. Tegetmeier, 17 [July] 1871.
See letter from W. B. Tegetmeier, 17 [July] 1871 and nn. 2–4. In Descent 1: 294, CD had written that the young of Sebright bantams had ‘feathers tipped with black’, which made ‘a near approach to lacing’; in Descent 2d ed., p. 238, he wrote that their wing feathers were ‘distinctly, though imperfectly laced’.


One of WBT’s poultry skulls has been misplaced; CD cannot believe he neglected to return it.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Sent from
Source of text
Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7871,” accessed on 18 August 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 19