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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. T. Thiselton-Dyer   [4 February 1876]1

6. Queen Anne St

Friday | morning

Dear Dyer

I write to congratulate you & all supporters of Linn. Soc. at the splendid success last night.2 I heard that that there were only 5 black-balls. I shd. like to know who the 5 men were, & I would wager that they are about the poorest curs in London.

Ray Lankester may well be proud of his triumph.— Tell Hooker I feel greatly aggrieved by him; I went to Royal Soc. to see him for once in the Chair of the Royal & to admire his dignity & enjoy it, & lo & behold he was not there.3 My outing gave me much satisfaction, & I was particularly glad to see Mr. Bentham4 & to see him looking so wonderfully well & young. I saw lots of people & it has not done me not a penny’s worth of harm, though I could not get to sleep till nearly 4 oclock.—

You must feel much relieved that all this odious bother is over so successfully & I heartily sympathise with you.

Yours very sincerely | Ch Darwin

We go home early tomorrow morning—5


The date is established by the reference to the vote at the Linnean Society (see n. 2, below).
In December 1875, Thiselton-Dyer had proposed Edwin Ray Lankester for fellowship of the Linnean Society, but Lankester had been blackballed by some of the members (Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London (1875–6): ii; see Correspondence vol. 23, letter from J. D. Hooker, 2 December 1875). CD had seconded Thomas Henry Huxley’s renewed proposal of Lankester for membership, and both he and Francis Darwin came to London to vote at the meeting on 3 February 1876 (Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London (1875–6): iii; see Correspondence vol. 23, letter to J. J. Weir, 18 December [1875], and this volume, letter to J. D. Hooker, 29 January 1876).
Joseph Dalton Hooker was president of the Royal Society of London and usually chaired its meetings, but at the 3 February 1876 meeting, William Spottiswoode, the treasurer and vice-president, was in the chair (Proceedings of the Royal Society of London 24 (1875–6): 250).
CD stayed in London at the home of his brother Erasmus Alvey Darwin from 3 to 5 February 1876 (CD’s ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)).


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


Congratulates WTT-D on [election of E. Ray Lankester to] Linnean Society.

Mentions visit to Royal Society.

Pleased to see George Bentham looking well.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Turner Thiselton-Dyer
Sent from
London, Queen Anne St, 6
Source of text
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Thiselton-Dyer, W.T., Letters from Charles Darwin 1873–81: 56–7)
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10380,” accessed on 21 February 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 24