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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Robert Fitch   [5 February 1850]


My dear Sir

Amongst the specimens first sent, there is one embedded with its back downwards, presenting a concavity upwards: it is in present state absolutely & utterly useless every character is hidden: if you like, I will soak it & clear chalk off— But do not say yes, without you would like it, for I have not the least idea what the valve is, it may be new or it may be old.—& nothing will ever be known about it in its present state.—

I have well exhibited the additional side to the carina, which you granted me permission to do, & it is now the best specimen which I have seen & I will have it figured.—1 I have just made out a quite new beautiful & distinct species of Pollicipes out of the lot last sent2 The species are very numerous—for in Mr Flower of Croydon’s3 small collection I have found two other new & distinct species of Scalpellum from Chalk.—4

Yours very faithfully | C. Darwin Down Farnborough Kent

Tuesday.— P.S. I have opened this note to thank you very sincerely for your renewed proof of your kindness in your letter just received.—5


The specimen referred to in letter to Robert Fitch, 15 January [1850].
The species CD later named Pollicipes angelini.
John Wickham Flower.
The two species described from Flower’s collection were Scalpellum trilineatum and S. arcuatum (Fossil Cirripedia (1851): 38, 40; Trenn 1974, p. 482 n. 97).
Fitch apparently offered to send CD some more specimens (see letter to Robert Fitch, [6 February 1850]).


Trenn, Thaddeus J. 1974. Charles Darwin, fossil cirripedes, and Robert Fitch: presenting sixteen hitherto unpublished Darwin letters of 1849 to 1851. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 118: 471–91.


Asks permission to clean specimen. Describes research on cirripedes.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Robert Fitch
Sent from
Source of text
Norwich Castle
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1301,” accessed on 22 June 2021,

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