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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. de C. Sowerby   [8] June [1850]1

Down Farnborough Kent

Saturday June 9th.

My dear Sir

I am pleased with the drawings & am much obliged for the care shown, & to you for attending to my wish regarding greater hardness.—2

I have written several notes on paper, but yet the corrections are few, & I have written my notes in very plain hand.— There are only two figures which require much attention: I return some few specimens which you will require when engraving, & have marked the names outside.

There is one extra figure of nat. size required to P. glaber 3 as explained.—

I think the extra figures which you did beyond my instructions hardly necessary except in case of P. glaber in which it was a good thought, & I hope there are figures of Nat: size to P. lævis,4 but I forget.—

As you have made the drawings, you may as well engrave them.— But do not add one figure to the foreign species, nor to the English except in any case, it strikes you as very desirable.—

Whenever you like if you will be so good as to let me know what I am indebted to you, I will transmit the money—5 If in any case in doubt please make a drawing, & transmit the same to me.

I much hope that you will kindly send me the rude arranged Plates very soon.—6 For a week after next Tuesday (ie up to June 18th) my address will be “Post-office. Malvern”:—

Your’s very sincerely | C. Darwin


Saturday fell on the 8 June in 1850, not 9 June as CD has it. The reference in the letter to the visit to Malvern confirms 1850 as the year. CD stayed at Malvern from 11 to 18 June (‘Journal’; Correspondence vol. 4, Appendix I).
Pollicipes glaber (Fossil Cirripedia (1851): 61; Tab. III, fig. 10).
Pollicipes lævis. In Fossil Cirripedia (1851) it is listed as a synonym for both P. elongatus (p. 55) and P. unguis (p. 64). It is not clear which specimen is referred to here. Both are figured: P. elongatus on Tab. III, fig. 5, and P. unguis on Tab. IV, fig. 1.
The Palaeontographical Society, which employed J. de C. Sowerby for engraving work and which published Fossil Cirripedia, paid for the plates.
During a meeting of the Palaeontographical Society on 28 June 1850, a letter from J. de C. Sowerby was read and ‘a scheme of plates to illustrate Mr Darwin’s monograph of the fossil British Cirripedes were submitted to Council’ (Palaeontographical Society Minute Book, British Museum (Natural History)).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Fossil Cirripedia (1851): A monograph on the fossil Lepadidæ, or, pedunculated cirripedes of Great Britain. By Charles Darwin. London: Palaeontographical Society. 1851.


CD is pleased with the drawings for Fossil Cirripedia but wants a few corrections which he would like very soon.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
James de Carle Sowerby
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1338,” accessed on 4 December 2021,

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