skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

From Edward Cresy   30 May 1865

Metropolitan Board of Works | Spring Gardens

30 May ’65—

My dear Sir.

It is so long since I have had the pleasure of seeing or hearing of you that if you are well enough I propose to walk over & pay my respects next Monday, that being a leisure day here—.1

Should you not be able to see me I am sure Mrs or Miss Darwin2 will kindly drop me a line but I sincerely hope such may not be the case.

I was very much struck with the German naturalist〈’s〉 illustration of natural selection in the air breathing apparatus of crustacean〈s〉 in the Annals of Natural History   I think that is a very strong case & the complexity of the argument to my mind gives great additional force—3

Yours very truly | E Cresy

C Darwin Esq.


Cresy is listed in the Post Office London suburban directory 1865 as living in Alleyn Road, Lower Norwood, about eight miles from Down. There is no record of a visit by Cresy in 1865 in Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242); his last recorded visit to Down was on 2 August 1863 (see Correspondence vol. 11, Appendix II). Cresy was principal clerk at the Metropolitan Board of Works (Post Office London directory 1865).
Emma and Henrietta Emma Darwin.
Cresy refers to an abstract (Anon. 1865b) of a French review of Müller 1864 (Anon. 1865a). The abstract focused partly on Fritz Müller’s discussion of the genealogy of different species of air-breathing crabs in his book, Für Darwin (Müller 1864). Müller’s observations had demonstrated that the independent adaptations for breathing air in crab species from different families supported Darwin’s theory of descent; for Müller’s observations of these adaptations and CD’s interest in them, see the letter to Fritz Müller, 10 August [1865] and n. 5.


Impressed by Fritz Müller’s argument for natural selection in air-breathing apparatus of crustaceans ["The Darwinian hypothesis supported by observations on Crustacea", Ann. & Mag. Nat. Hist. 3d ser. 15 (1865): 410–16].

Plans to visit CD.

Letter details

Letter no.
Edward Cresy
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Metropolitan Board of Works
Source of text
DAR 161: 243
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4842,” accessed on 20 April 2018,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 13