To Ludwig Rütimeyer 15 [and 16] January 1
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
Dear & honoured Sir
I have been confined to my bed by illness, otherwise I should have written sooner, & thanked you for your letter of Dec. 11th.—2
I grieve to say that I have no good news to tell. I applied to a friend & relation, who knows Lord Tankerville3 well, & I wrote a long letter to him with instructions, which he forwarded to Ld. Tankerville with a request from himself. But he has received no sort of answer!!4
My friend says Ld. Tankerville leads a strange solitary life; but is much surprised at receiving no answer. I am astonished at such rudeness. My friend thinks that perhaps he may send the skulls, though he will not take the trouble to write.— My friend naturally does not choose to write again, after being treated so rudely; but if he sees him in London this Spring will ask.— I yet hope that the Skulls may be sent; but am very fearful about the result.— If the old Lord Tankerville had been alive, I feel sure that we should have got them.—5
I cannot tell you how sincerely I grieve that I have failed to aid you in your most important & interesting investigations, but I have done all that I could.—
With sincere apologies, I remain Dear Sir | Yours very faithfully | Charles Darwin
P.S. I have just had another letter from my friend, Sir H. Holland, who says he will see Lord Tankerville or write to him again;6 & I think the noble Lord will be driven by shame to be more courteous.—
Lord Tankerville has not responded to the request for the skulls which LR requires for his research. CD addressed Lord T through his friend Sir Henry Holland, who is prepared to try again, despite Lord T’s rudeness.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3389,” accessed on 6 December 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-3389