skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To Henry Denny   21 July [1847]

Down. Farnborough. Kent

July 21st.

Dear Sir

I much regret that we had not the pleasure of seeing each other at Oxford. I did not happen to hear that you were there otherwise I would have exerted myself to have found you out; but I did not attend the sections regularly & the state of my health at all times compels me to live a very quiet life. There were others at Oxford whom to my regret, I missed seeing besides yourself—

Pray by all means keep any duplicates of my parasitic insects for your own collection. Where there are not duplicates in my own collection; if you positively know that the B. Museum has the same species, pray keep my specimens— I consider that I did not promise duplicates to the Museum.1

Mr. Lyell procured at my request for you some pediculi, from the Negros in N America;2 perhaps they have already been forwarded to you but in the Autumn when Mr Lyell returns, I will make enquiries.3

Pray believe me, | dear Sir. | Yours very faithfully. | C. Darwin. To. A. Denny4 Esqre.


Six of CD’s lice specimens are in the British Museum (K. G. V. Smith 1987, p. 71).
Charles Lyell visited the United States for a second time from September 1845 until June 1846 (K. M. Lyell ed. 1881, 2: 83). CD had asked Lyell to collect the lice specimens for Denny in October 1845 (Correspondence vol. 3, letter to Charles Lyell, 8 October [1845]).
Lyell was staying at the family seat, Kinnordy House, Scotland, during July and August.
The copyist misread CD’s handwriting: ‘A.’ is a mistake for ‘H.’


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

Smith, Kenneth G. V. 1987. Darwin’s insects: Charles Darwin’s entomological notes. Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History). Historical series 14: 1–143.


Regrets not seeing HD at Oxford meeting [of BAAS].

He may keep duplicates of parasitic insects from CD’s collection. Lyell has collected Pediculi for HD from Negroes in North America.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Henry Denny
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 143: 383
Physical description
C 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1103,” accessed on 9 June 2023,

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