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Darwin Correspondence Project

From F. M. Balfour   [14 December 1876]1

Savile Club, | 15, Savile Row. W.


My dear Mr. Darwin—

I have seen Foster today & he approves of the names I have suggested—mentioning however Allman as another Biologist you might apply to2

The only Biologists on the Council of the R. Society are Flower Duncan & Foster.3

I leave this evening for Dover & meet Foster on the steamer tomorrow. Foster is going to occupy the Cambridge table at the Naples Zoological Station.4

I hope you will receive my letter from Cambridge & papers quite safely—5 I had not time to get them properly done up this morning before I started.

Yours ever | very sincerely | F. M. Balfour


The date is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to F. M. Balfour, 13 December 1876. In 1876, the Thursday following 13 December was 14 December.
In his letter of [14] December [1876], Balfour had sent CD the names of six fellows of the Royal Society of London who would sign his nomination form for membership. Michael Foster suggested adding George James Allman’s name.
William Henry Flower, Peter Martin Duncan, and Foster served on the Council of the Royal Society in 1876 (Proceedings of the Royal Society of London 25 (1876–7): 363). The society’s rules barred council members from nominating new members; see letter from F. M. Balfour, 11 December 1876.
Anton Dohrn’s Zoological Station in Naples had opened in 1873; Balfour was one of the first English researchers to visit. Dohrn rented out worktables in the station to researchers, and Foster had secured one for the University of Cambridge (Heuss 1991, pp. 153, 130, and 147; see also Correspondence vol. 21, enclosure to letter from T. H. Huxley, 3 December 1873 and n. 5).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Heuss, Theodor. 1991. Anton Dohrn: a life for science. Translated from the German by Liselotte Dieckmann. Berlin and New York: Springer Verlag.


Michael Foster approves of names FMB suggested CD apply to [in proposing FMB to the Royal Society] and adds George Allman, Foster, W. H. Flower, and P. M. Duncan, the only biologists on the Council.

Letter details

Letter no.
Francis Maitland Balfour
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Savile Club
Source of text
DAR 160: 24
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10713,” accessed on 16 June 2021,

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