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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Edward Cardwell   28 October 1875

74. Eaton Square. S.W.

28 October. 1875


My colleagues in the Royal Commission on the subject of Experiments upon Living Animals for scientific purposes have desired me to say, on their part & my own, how great is the value we shall attach to your opinions, if you should feel able to give them to us.1

We know that your health renders it necessary for you to be very careful,—& do not feel sure that you will be able to comply with our request. At the same time we know also that you feel a great interest in the subject, on the score of humanity, as well as of science:—& are confident that you will be disposed to give us your assistance, if it shall be in your power to do so.

We shall sit every day next week except Friday, and will readily make any appointment which may be most convenient to yourself.2

I have the honour to be, Sir, your most obedient faithful Servant | Cardwell

Charles Darwin Esqr &c. &c. &c.


Edward Cardwell was the chairman of the Royal Commission on vivisection, which had been set up on 22 June 1875 (Report of the Royal Commission on vivisection, pp. v–vi).
CD appeared before the Royal Commission on vivisection on 3 November 1875 (see Report of the Royal Commission on vivisection, pp. 233–4).


Report of the Royal Commission on vivisection: Report of the Royal Commission on the practice of subjecting live animals to experiments for scientific purposes; with minutes of evidence and appendix; 1876 (C.1397, C.1397-1) XLI.277, 689. House of Commons Parliamentary Papers.


CD is asked to testify before a Royal Commission on experiments on living animals.

Letter details

Letter no.
Edward Cardwell, 1st Viscount Cardwell
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Eaton Square, 74
Source of text
DAR 161: 48
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10231,” accessed on 26 May 2020,

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