skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To William Yarrell   6 [February 1856]

Down Bromley Kent


My dear Mr Yarrell

The Pigeons are all quite well, vigorous, & in good spirits.— They are really quite beautiful.— I have now 15 kinds of Pigeons!—1

Pray give my very sincere & cordial thanks to Mrs. Cotton.—2 I send with this the Book & your Cage.—

Pray believe me, | Yours most truly obliged | Charles Darwin


Early in 1855, when CD began his study of pigeons, Yarrell had advised him about breeds and how to procure them. See Correspondence vol. 5, letters to W. D. Fox, 19 March [1855] and 27 March [1855].
Mrs Cotton has not been identified but according to his Catalogue of Down specimens (Down House MS), CD acquired red tumbler pigeons and trumpeters from her. CD’s Account book (Down House MS) has regular entries, beginning in June 1855, recording payments made for the purchases of pigeons. By the end of June 1856, he had acquired eighty-nine birds (see letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 24 June [1856]).


"The Pigeons are all quite well".

Sends thanks to Mrs Cotton.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Yarrell
Sent from
Source of text
Cleveland Health Sciences Library
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1829,” accessed on 20 July 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 6