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Darwin Correspondence Project

To William Bowman   1 June [1876]1

H. Wedgwoods2 | Hopedene

June 1st

My dear Bowman

Your note has been forwarded to me here, & it was very kind of you to write to me.3 I shd. have enjoyed beyond measure hearing Donders, but in truth I have not strength to come to London today for the lecture.4 Pray remember me most kindly to him: I shall never forget his generous assistance to me formerly.—5

I have been admiring your beautiful house from this place, but have not been able to walk so far as yet: the gardener here has had instruction to act as a detective & report to me if you came down on a Sunday, when I shd have called & had the great pleasure of seeing you.6 But we leave this place next Wednesday morning7 & I fear you will not be here on Sunday.—

Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the reference to CD’s visit to Hopedene, Holmbury St Mary, Surrey; CD stayed at Hopedene from 24 May to 7 June 1876 (CD’s ‘Journal’ (Appendix II).
Hensleigh and Frances Emma Elizabeth Wedgwood.
Bowman’s letter has not been found.
Frans Cornelis Donders was vice-president of the biology section at the South Kensington Museum conferences on the special loan collection of scientific apparatus in May and June 1876 (Conferences on the special loan collection of scientific apparatus; chemistry etc., p. 149). Donders spoke on the velocity of thought (ibid., pp. 224–8).
CD and Donders had corresponded since 1869; in 1872, Donders had helped CD with information about the human eye for Expression (Correspondence vol. 20).
Bowman’s country house was Joldwynds, in Holmbury St Mary (ODNB).
In 1876, the Wednesday following 1 June was 7 June (CD’s ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)).


Conferences on the special loan collection of scientific apparatus; chemistry etc.: South Kensington Museum: conferences held in connection with the special loan collection of scientific apparatus. 1876. Chemistry, biology, physical geography, geology, mineralogy, and meteorology. London: Chapman and Hall.

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

Expression: The expression of the emotions in man and animals. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1872.

ODNB: Oxford dictionary of national biography: from the earliest times to the year 2000. (Revised edition.) Edited by H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. 60 vols. and index. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2004.


Regrets he cannot hear lecture by F. C. Donders.

Hopes to see WB before he returns home.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Bowman, 1st baronet
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.)
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10521,” accessed on 20 April 2024,

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