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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. E. Gladstone   [4 January 1881]1



My Dear Sir

The scientific men who have signed the enclosed memorial,2 are aware how much your time is occupied; otherwise they would have asked your permission to present the memorial through a small Deputation.—3 Should you require any further information, I shall be glad to answer any questions which your Secretary may address me may send to me

Those who have signed their names are all capable of judging of the worth for their own special studies, or as as Pres of Scientific Soc on Mr Wallaces scientific work; the D. of A. permits me to say that he would gladly have signed the memorial as [illeg] scientific worker.—4

Hoping that you may be led to take a favourable view of our mem, in which I feel a very deep interest, | I have the honour to remain with great respect | etc


The date is established by the relationship between this draft letter and the letter to A. B. Buckley, 4 January 1881.
CD had circulated a memorial for a civil list pension for Alfred Russel Wallace. It was signed by William Spottiswoode, George James Allman, Henry Walter Bates, Henry Austin Bruce (first Baron Aberdare), William Henry Flower, Albert Günther, Joseph Dalton Hooker, Thomas Henry Huxley, John Lubbock, Andrew Crombie Ramsay, Philip Lutley Sclater, and CD. The enclosed memorial has not been found; for a transcription of a draft of it, see Correspondence vol. 28, Appendix VI. See also Colp 1992.
CD had doubted whether it would be wise to send ‘a small Deputation’ to deliver the memorial; Huxley had agreed it would be better to send the memorial with a private note (see Correspondence vol. 28, letter to T. H. Huxley, 27 December 1880, and letter from T. H. Huxley, 28 December 1880).
CD had asked George Douglas Campbell, eighth duke of Argyll, to write a separate letter to Gladstone (see Correspondence vol. 28, letter to G. D. Campbell, [before 27 December 1880] and n. 4).


Colp, Ralph. 1992. ‘I will gladly do my best’: how Charles Darwin obtained a civil list pension for Alfred Russel Wallace. Isis 83: 2–26.


Covering letter to enclose a memorial [petitioning for a civil list pension for Wallace].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Ewart Gladstone
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 202: 58
Physical description
ADraft 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 12975,” accessed on 19 April 2024,