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Darwin Correspondence Project

To T. F. Jamieson   21 November 1862

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

November 21— 1862

My dear Sir

I have great pleasure in expressing my strong opinion on your qualifications, as far as knowledge of the natural sciences is concerned, to give Lectures on Agriculture.1 I have read with admiration all your papers on the more recent geological changes in Scotland; & I can with entire truth say that according to my power of judging I have never read more able productions.2 I may add that the more recent geological phenomena are obviously those most connected with Agriculture. From our frequent correspondence, I am well aware that your knowledge of the several branches of Natural History is very considerable.

With my cordial wishes for that success, which I am sure you are well entitled to, I remain | My dear Sir | Yours sincerely | Charles Darwin

To | Th. F. Jamieson Esqre


In a letter that is now missing, Jamieson had evidently asked CD for a reference; he was appointed Fordyce lecturer on agriculture at the University of Aberdeen in 1862 (Roll of the graduates of the University of Aberdeen).
Jamieson had written a number of important papers on the Pleistocene geology of Scotland (Jamieson 1858, 1860a, 1860b, and 1862). In particular, CD had been greatly impressed by Jamieson’s explanation of the so-called ‘parallel roads’ of Glen Roy, in Lochaber, Scotland, later detailed in Jamieson 1863 (see, for example, letter to Charles Lyell, 14 October [1862] and n. 3).


Jamieson, Thomas Francis. 1858. On the Pleistocene deposits of Aberdeenshire. Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London 14: 509–32.

Jamieson, Thomas Francis. 1863. On the parallel roads of Glen Roy, and their place in the history of the glacial period. [Read 21 January 1863.] Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London 19: 235–59.

Roll of the graduates of the University of Aberdeen: Roll of the graduates of the University of Aberdeen 1860–1900. By William Johnston. Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press. 1906.


CD expresses his high opinion of TFJ’s scientific qualifications for lecturing on agriculture.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Thomas Francis Jamieson
Sent from
Source of text
National Library of Scotland (MS 5406: 171–2)
Physical description
3pp & AdraftS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3818,” accessed on 25 January 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 10