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Darwin Correspondence Project

From John Beddoe   [22 August – 12 September 1869]1

Professor Christison,2 | Arroquhar, by Glasgow

My dear Sir

Your letter has followed me hither, where I am enjoying a holyday—3 And by the same post I have received the result of the last examination of data—4 It is vexatiously subversive of my former inferences, & really looks very much as if the gradual darkening of colour were the real cause, or main cause at least, of the whole set of phenomena—5 Now that I have got a trustworthy amanuensis6 I will have the 35–45 women abstracted from the books which furnished the original data for my paper of 1863;7 and when I get the result you shall have it at once—8

Yours very faithfully | John Beddoe


July 13th 1863 to Aug 6. 1869

Women between 35 and 45

Single Married

Red Fair Brown Dk. B. Black Red Fair Brown Dk B. Black.

or or

Lt. B. Lt. B.

312 2 812 13 5 14^1/2 2812 9512 60 2612

Total 32 Total 225

Women between 25 and 45

1112 1712 5112 44 512 23 8312 21812 31012 4212

Total 130 Total 678


The date is established by the relationship between this letter and the letters from John Beddoe, 21 August 1869 and 13 September 1869.
Robert Christison.
CD’s letter has not been found.
Beddoe 1863; see also letter from John Beddoe, 21 August 1869 and n. 2.


Results of CD’s examination of data subvert JB’s former inferences. Will send abstracts from the data for his paper on colour of hair of single and married women 35 to 45 years old ["On the supposed increasing prevalence of dark hair in England", Anthropol. Rev. 1 (1863): 310–12].

Letter details

Letter no.
John Beddoe
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 85: A13–14
Physical description
2pp inc , table, G.H. Darwin notes 2pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6809,” accessed on 24 February 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 17