To George Maw 12 May 1
of Down, Bromley, Kent [Leith Hill Place]2
I have been visiting from home & your letter of April 25th did not reach me for some days.3 I then wrote to Sir C. Lyell, & he was so busy that he was not able to answer me at once.—4 He is much obliged to you, but he really does not know enough of the osteology of man to appreciate your specimen.—5 He agrees with me that bones from Gibraltar must be of very doubtful age. Nevertheless, in my opinion, no skull of man ought to be neglected. If you get a skull or part of skull from Gibraltar, I would suggest that you had better write direct to Mr Busk, Secretary Linn. Soc. Burlington House or to Dr Falconer 21 Park Crescent, & state what the remains are & whether either one would like to examine them.6 It would be a thousand pities if the specimens were wasted. You seem to have got a splendid section of the Drift.—7 It would be highly adviseable for you to collect as many shells as possible & look out well for any bones.— Mr. Prestwich of the Geological Soc. Somerset House, would probably be interested by any considerable collection of shells from the Drift.—8 Glacial shells have been found by me & others near Shrewsbury.9
Pray believe me | Dear Sir | Yours very faithfully | Ch. Darwin
Believes GM’s human bones from Gibraltar must be of very doubtful age. Lyell agrees, but feels any skull found should be forwarded to George Busk or Hugh Falconer.
Suggests GM look carefully for shells in the drift.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4157,” accessed on 30 March 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-4157