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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Lionel Smith Beale1   26 October [1861]2

Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.

Oct. 26th

Dear Sir

Should the Subscribers determine to make a present to Mrs Queckett,3 I should have great pleasure in putting my name down for five Guineas:4 but I am sorry to say that I have, I suppose peculiar opinions in regard to Testimonials, & if the Subscribers determine on one, I must decline subscribing, as although I have a sincere respect for Prof. Queckett, in my judgment his scientific claims are not of that eminent merit deserving a public Testimonial. I am heartily sorry to differ from so many better judges than myself, but each man must act on his own judgment.— Under these circumstances it will not of course do to put my name down on the committee.5

Dear Sir | Yours faithfully | Charles Darwin


The recipient is identified from an entry in CD’s Account book (see n. 4, below).
The year is provided by reference to the death of John Thomas Quekett (see n. 3, below).
Isabella Mary Anne Quekett was the widow of John Thomas Quekett, professor of histology and conservator of the Hunterian Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons. Quekett had died, aged forty-six, on 20 August 1861 (DNB).
There is an entry in CD’s Account book (Down House MS) on 13 January 1862 that reads: ‘Dr Beale Queckett Testimonial 5/5’. Beale, professor of physiology and general and morbid anatomy at King’s College, London, was, like Quekett, a noted microscopist.
Beale was the honorary secretary of a working committee of the Royal College of Surgeons formed to enlist subscriptions to provide an educational endowment for Quekett’s four sons (see Quarterly Journal of Microscopical Science n.s. 2 (1862): 63).


Subscribes to present for Mrs J. T. Quekett only on condition that no public testimonial is planned for JTQ.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Lionel Smith Beale
Sent from
Source of text
Scripps College Library
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3300,” accessed on 22 June 2018,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 9