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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Henry Lee   21 January 1868

at Hurstbourne Park | Whitchurch

21st. Jany 1868

Trout taking for Ova1

27 females full & ready to spawn
13 do spent
6 do nearly spent
16 do not ready
105 males with milt
19 do spent
26 Bright in good condition

Memo: 1 of the males was full of milt though only two years old. 1 female was full of white or very pale eggs.

Henry Lee

CD annotations

In table:
‘16 do not ready’] ‘16’ underl pencil; ‘62’ added pencil
‘26 Bright] ‘26’ underl pencil ‘Males 150added below pencil ‘150’ altered from ‘140’ red crayon
Top of letter: ‘Lord Portsmouth’s Park’2 pencil

End of letter:

62 150 212


CD summarised the information in this table in Descent 1: 308: ‘Mr. H. Lee informs me that out of 212 trout … in Lord Portsmouth’s park, 150 were males and 62 females’. The information appears in a general discussion of the proportion of the sexes in animals (Descent 1: 300–15).
Hurstbourne Park, near the village of Hurstbourne Priors in Hampshire, was the seat of the earl of Portsmouth (National gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868).


Table of numbers of trout taken for ova; includes males counted. [See Descent 1: 308].

Letter details

Letter no.
Henry Lee
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 86: 1
Physical description
AmemS 1p †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5793,” accessed on 27 June 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 16