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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Richard Owen   [1847?]1

Down Farnborough | Kent


My dear Owen

Will you be so good as to endeavour to give me 12 an hour on Tuesday between 12 past 12 & 12 past one oclock. It will be a great kindness, as I am most anxious for your opinion on a few zoological points.2

Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin


The conjectured date is based on an 1847 watermark. During that year CD made frequent visits to London to attend Geological Society council meetings (Correspondence vol. 4, Appendix I).
Caroline Owen recorded that CD often called at the Owens’ London home for discussions with Richard Owen. On 7 January 1847 she wrote (R. S. Owen 1894, 1: 292): Mr. Darwin was here very early, before breakfast. He and R. had a long discussion on the subject of R.’s views on osteology and the archetype. After breakfast R. brought out his ‘Broadsheet of Osteology’ [synonyms of bones]. Mr. Darwin quite saw the force of that.


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

Owen, Richard Startin. 1894. The life of Richard Owen … With the scientific portions revised by C. Davies Sherborn; also an essay on Owen’s position in anatomical science by the Right Hon. T. H. Huxley, F.R.S. 2 vols. London: John Murray.


Asks to meet RO to get his opinion on zoological points.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Richard Owen
Sent from
Source of text
Yale University Medical Historical Library, Harvey Cushing / John Hay Whitney Medical Library (MMS)
Physical description
ALS 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1044,” accessed on 24 September 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 4