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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Forbes Royle  [24 May 1838]

Dear Royle

I heard the other day you were going to give a lecture somewhere on the geography of plants with relation to the Himalayah.1 Will you have the kindness to oblige me by sending me one line to tell me the where and the when, as I should very much like, in case my information is correct, to hear it. Excuse me troubling you.

You ought to have been at Geolog. Soc. last night. We had a grand battle between Sedgwick2 and Greenough,3 the former most eloquent, the latter most obstinate but most good-humoured.

Yours most truly | Chas. Darwin

Thursday Morng. 36 Grt. Marlbro’ St.


Royle lectured at the Royal Institution on 1 June 1838 on ‘The vegetation of the Himalayan chain in connection with climate’ (Royal Institution Archives). CD apparently attended the lecture. In Notebook C: 223–4 he made the following entry: Dr Royle *Royal Institution [interl] seems to think Botanical Provinces will turn out not nearly so confined as now thought.— N. American, Europæan & Chinese genera & some species on Himalaya.— some English beetles, birds & a fox most close The most curious case is saxifrage, almost *closely allied [above del ‘same’] species Himalayas. 13,000 & Melville Isd.— West Africa & India some plants same.
At the meeting Sedgwick had concluded the reading of ‘A synopsis of the English series of stratified rocks inferior to the old red sandstone’ (Proceedings of the Geological Society 2 (1833–8): 675–85).
George Bellas Greenough had begun work on a revision of his geological map of England (Geological Society of London, Council Minutes, 5 June 1839).


Would like to attend a lecture by JFR on "geography of plants with relation to the Himalayas".

"A grand battle" at the Geological Society between Sedgwick and G. B. Greenough.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Forbes Royle
Sent from
London, Gt Marlborough St, 36
Source of text
DAR 147: 397
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 415,” accessed on 17 July 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 2