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Darwin Correspondence Project

To George Grey   10 November 1846

Down Farnborough Kent

Nov. 10. 1846

My dear Sir

I beg to thank you for the courteous tone of your communication of the 10th of May 1846, considering the circumstances under which it was written. I enclose a letter which I immediately wrote to Capt. Stokes & his answer;1 these will, I trust, exonerate us of intentional impertinence. Some most malicious person must have sent my note to you. I have been much mortified by perusing it, & though I am not presumptuous enough to suppose that you can care much for my opinion of your work on Australia,2 it is a satisfaction to me to be enabled to name to myself many individuals, to whom I have expressed my strong opinion of the many high qualities shown in your work, of which, the amusement it afforded, was but a small part. Your account of the aborigines I have always thought one of the most able ever written.— As we are not likely to have any further communication, permit me to add that I have a most pleasant recollection of our former acquaintance.—3

With much respect, I beg to remain | Your’s faithfully | Ch. Darwin His Excellency | Sir G. Grey4 | &c &c &c


CD had probably met Grey in the spring of 1837 when Robert FitzRoy was awarded the Royal Premium by the Royal Geographical Society (5 May 1837). At that time plans were being made for Grey’s expedition, sponsored by the Society, to leave in the Beagle in early June (Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London 7 (1837): x–xi). CD had also visited the Beagle on 28 May 1837 (Correspondence vol. 2, letter to J. S. Henslow, [28 May 1837]).
Grey was not knighted until 1848.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Grey, George. 1841. Journals of two expeditions of discovery in north-west and western Australia, during the years 1837, 38, and 39. 2 vols. London: T. and W. Boone.


CD apologises for his note to J. L. Stokes [see 940], which somehow found its way into GG’s hands.

Praises GG’s work on Australia.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
George Grey
Sent from
Source of text
Auckland Public Library (Grey collection GL D8 (1))
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1021,” accessed on 13 July 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 3