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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Lawson Tait   12 January 1880

7. Great Charles St. | Birmingham.

Jan 12/80

My Dear Sir,

This day month is your birth day and we propose here to have a “Darwin Festival” on a small scale probably, but as hearty and as large as we can secure. May I ask if you would be willing to accept some little expression of our gratitude for your work—say an illuminated address or something of the kind? Also can you refer me to any biographical notes beyond that of “Men of the Time” & Dublin University Magazine?1 The date in question is the completion of your 70th. year is it not?—or rather the day before is—& that your 71st. birth day.2

Our Philosophical Society3 meets that day, therefore arises the opportunity.

Yours truly, | Lawson Tait


Biographical articles on CD appeared in Men and women of the time (1865) and University Magazine 92 (August 1878): 154–63 ([Lubbock] 1878); Dublin University Magazine was renamed University Magazine in 1878.
CD was 71 on 12 February 1880.
Tait was a council member of the Birmingham Philosophical Society (Proceedings of the Birmingham Philosophical Society 2 (1879–81)).


[Lubbock, Ellen Frances.] 1878. Contemporary Portraits. New Series.— No. 8. Charles Darwin, F.R.S. University Magazine 2: 154–63.

Men and women of the time: The men of the time in 1852 or sketches of living notables. 2d edition, 1853. 3d edition, 1856. 4th edition, 1857. New edition, 1865. 7th edition, 1868. 8th edition, 1872. 9th edition, 1875. 10th edition, 1879. 11th edition, 1884. 12th edition, 1887. 13th edition, 1891. 14th edition, 1895. Men and women of the time: a dictionary. 15th edition. By Victor G. Plarr. 1899. London: David Bogue [and others]. 1852–99.


Plans a "Darwin Festival" to celebrate CD’s birthday.

Letter details

Letter no.
Robert Lawson (Lawson) Tait
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 178: 41
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 12418,” accessed on 8 June 2023,