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Darwin Correspondence Project

To H. E. Strickland   [19 February 1849]

Down Farnborough Kent


My dear Strickland

I must send a line to thank you for your letter.— You have been of the greatest use to me,—though really you might have spared yourself the trouble of your last letter.— I am in truth ashamed of the quantity I have made you write. In your last letter, you have put the solution to my difficulties in a perfectly clear light.—

I cannot but think it wd be a good thing occasionally to bring your Report on Nomenclature to the recollection of all by any even the slightest corrections—as for instance the X Edit of Linn. (giving year) being the starting point1 —(this is surely a material point) Have you tried any of the foreign congresses to see if they will not formally adopt it—Or the Institute of Paris &c.—2

I feel some difficulty about your type species: I always arrange genera in as natural order as I can, & then one puts the species nearest allied to former genus first. I have not had much experience in making genera, but in two just formed & perfectly natural, I declare I could not possibly pretend to say which shd be considered the type; yet they differ from each other in some important points.— I cannot but think this must often happen.— Hurrah no more trouble about Pentalasmis Anatifera & Anatifa!—3

Yours most sincerely | C. Darwin

I am thinking of coming to Malvern for a couple of months in April to see if I can do my wretched health any good.—4


In Living Cirripedia (1851): x, CD refers to this point in a footnote: ‘In the Rules published by the British Association, the 12th edition [Linnaeus 1766–8] (1766,) is specified, but I am informed by Mr. Strickland that this is an error, and that the binomial method was followed in the 10th edition [Linnaeus 1758].’ However, the use of the twelfth edition was confirmed at the meeting of the British Association in Birmingham in 1865 (Sclater ed. 1878, p. 24).
The British Association rules were adopted by many European and American naturalists (Sclater ed. 1878, p. 21), but inconsistencies in taxonomic practice continued. In 1902 an international code of zoological nomenclature was adopted (EB).
For CD’s problems with these names, see enclosure in letter to H. E. Strickland, [4 February 1849], and letter from H. E. Strickland, 8 February 1849. CD reiterated these conclusions in Living Cirripedia (1851): 67 n.
CD and his family took up residence in Malvern, Worcestershire, for CD to receive treatment at James Manby Gully’s hydropathic establishment from 10 March until 30 June (‘Journal’; Correspondence vol. 4, Appendix I). Strickland’s residence, The Lodge in Tewkesbury, was approximately ten miles from Malvern.


Thanks HES for solving his problem. Has some difficulty with HES’s type-species. In arranging genera in a natural order it is often impossible to say which species should be considered the type.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Hugh Edwin Strickland
Sent from
Source of text
University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1227,” accessed on 23 June 2017,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 4