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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. S. Bowerbank1   [24 January–7 March 1850]2

Down Farnborugh Kent

Thursday Evening

My dear Sir

I write merely to thank you much for the Balani, which arrived quite safely & which when I come to the fossil Sessile species will be very useful to me.—

Yours sincerely | C. Darwin

If you ever hear of any fossil Cirripedia, I shall be grateful, if you will bear my monograph in mind.—

I got your Lubbock to join your Society3


Bowerbank was the probable recipient of this letter as he was CD’s main source of fossil Balanus species.
If the recipient was Bowerbank, then this letter must follow letter to J. S. Bowerbank, 19 January [1850], and precede Bowerbank’s involvement with CD’s monograph in his capacity as honorary secretary of the Palaeontographical Society (letter to J. S. Bowerbank, [8 March 1850]).
Bowerbank was associated with several scientific societies. CD’s use of ‘your society’ suggests the Palaeontographical Society, which had been set up by Bowerbank in 1847, but John William Lubbock’s name appears on the first list of subscribers issued in 1848, well before the probable date of this letter. However, Bowerbank was also treasurer of the Ray Society, and had been since its foundation in 1844, to which Lubbock began to subscribe sometime between September 1849 and June 1851.


Thanks JSB for specimens of fossil Balanidae.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
James Scott Bowerbank
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.91)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1296,” accessed on 28 February 2021,

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