To John Lindley 8 [April 1843]
Down Bromley | Kent
I take the liberty, at the suggestion of Dr Royle,1 of forwarding to you a few seeds, which have been found under very singular circumstances. They have been sent to me by Mr W. Kemp of Galashiels (a partially educated) man, of whose acuteness & accuracy of observation: from several communications on geological subjects, I have a very high opinion.2 He found them in a layer under about 25 feet thickness of white sand, which seems to have been deposited on the margin of an anciently existing lake. These seeds are not known to the provincial Botanists of the district. He states that some of them germinated in eight days after being planted, & are now alive. Knowing the interest you took in some Raspberry seeds, mentioned, I remember, in one of your works,3 I hope you will not think me troublesome in asking you to have these seeds carefully planted & in begging you so far to oblige me as to take the trouble to inform me of the result
Dr Daubeny4 has started for Spain, otherwise I wd have sent him some.— Mr Kemp is anxious to publish an account of his discovery himself, so perhaps you will be so kind as to communicate the result to me & not through any periodical.5 The chance, though appearing so improbable, of recovering a plant lost to any country if not to the world, appears to me so very interesting, that I hope you will think it worth while to have these seeds planted & not returned to me.
Believe me with great respect | Yours faithfully | C. Darwin To | Professor Lindley &c &c &c
CD sends seeds found by W. Kemp of Galashiels with explanation and request that they be planted and a report sent to him, so that Kemp may publish his discovery if results are interesting.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 668,” accessed on 12 February 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-668