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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Richard Owen   25 November [1846]1

Down Farnborough Kent

Nov. 25th

My dear Owen

Having worked out pretty carefully my new articulated Balanus (to be call Arthrobalanus) I have become so much interested in the structure of the sessile Cirripedes, that I am dissecting 5 or 6 of the other genera. I work out mouths & cirri carefully, muscular structure & tunics of the sack, & a some of the structure of the viscera; whether this is worth doing I am not sure, but I have not forgotten your great kindness in acceding to my request of reading over this time my descriptions.— I have, however, strayed from my object, which was to ask, whether you could by any chance supply me with a few specimens in Spirits of any of the Sessile genera, for my specimens are all small & some immature. If the College had any large set of specimens, of any of the genera, perhaps it would be possible to let me have a few; I could return the parts, after having them drawn, preserved & dissected in Spirits

Pray excuse this trouble | Ever yours truly | C. Darwin

P.S. | Most, perhaps all of the shells, about which I more than once tormented you, I have found at Sowerby’s.—2 proh pudor on me.


CD worked on Arthrobalanus during October 1846 and began dissecting other cirripedes in November (see ‘Journal’ (Correspondence vol. 3, Appendix II) and letters to J. D. Hooker, [2 October 1846] and [26 October 1846]).
Possibly the shells referred to in letters to G. B. Sowerby, [1 December 1845], [3 December 1845], and [9? December 1845].


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


Asks to borrow specimens of sessile cirripedes from Museum of Royal College of Surgeons.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Richard Owen
Sent from
Source of text
Natural History Museum, Library and Archives (General Special Collections Owen correspondence 9/201)
Physical description
ALS 4pp & C

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1033,” accessed on 1 March 2024,

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