skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. B. Tegetmeier   15 August [1875]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. | Railway Station | Orpington. S.E.R.

Aug 15th

My dear Sir

I am very much obliged for all your information. The answer about Eclipse is enough for my purpose.2

To refer to the other points: if the list about the breeding of Mares is printed I shd. like to have a copy, but otherwise do not trouble yourself.—3

I shd. be grateful for corrections of any errors in Var. under Dom; but I have added so much that I must add no more.4

Lastly with respect to the Pheasants, I will keep your note & so not forget that you have said something about intercrosses between the two species; but I suppose that the work is a large one, & I really do not like to accept your generous offer,—though the offer pleases me much, & I thank you heartily.5

My dear Sir | Yours sincerely | Ch. Darwin

I sincerely hope that your health is now well reestablished.6


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 8 August [1875].
Tegetmeier’s letter has not been found. CD had asked whether Tegetmeier knew of any racehorses faster than Eclipse, as the reference to Eclipse’s record in Variation 2: 242 had been challenged (letter to Tegetmeier, 8 August [1875] and n. 2).
The reference is probably to tables compiled by Charles Bruce Lowe that demonstrated the importance of the female line in determining a racehorse’s abilities. Bruce Lowe’s tables (Bruce Lowe 1895) were not published until after his death but were well known; they were posthumously published by the firm Horace Cox, which also published the Field, where Tegetmeier was editor in the pigeons and poultry department (E. W. Richardson 1916, pp. 139, 142–3).
CD was at work on revisions for Variation 2d ed. from 6 July to 3 October 1875 (CD’s ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)).
Tegetmeier quoted Descent 2d ed., 2: 156, on the probable characteristics of the offspring of crosses between the Soemmering and the common pheasant in his Pheasants for coverts and aviaries (Tegetmeier 1873, p. 97); CD’s lightly annotated copy, signed by Tegetmeier and dated 1875, is in the Darwin Library–CUL. Tegetmeier’s note has not been found.
Tegetmeier had been in poor health the previous year (see Correspondence vol. 22, letter from W. B. Tegetmeier, 17 February 1874).


Bruce Lowe, Charles. 1895. Breeding racehorses by the figure system. Compiled by the late C. Bruce Lowe; edited by William Allison. London: Horace Cox.

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Descent 2d ed.: The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. By Charles Darwin. 2d edition. London: John Murray. 1874.

Richardson, Edmund William. 1916. A veteran naturalist; being the life and work of W. B. Tegetmeier. London: Witherby & Co.

Variation 2d ed.: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2d edition. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1875.

Variation: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868.


Thanks for answer to racehorse query;

would be grateful for correction of any errors in Variation.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Sent from
Source of text
Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10118,” accessed on 6 May 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 23