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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Mr Downie?1    14 July [1850]2

Down | Farnborough | Kent

July 14th


I wrote a note to you about a week since, asking whether you supplied Entomological Store Boxes, (of shape of back-gammon Board) lined on both sides with good cork & papered.

I wish for one (or probably more) of large size, but I must know prices & dimensions.— Please to answer this note. My former one was addressed to Mr Burch; but I see on Labels of articles purchased at your place, two names, so I may have addressed my former note wrongly.

Sir | Your obed | Charles Darwin

I have one Box 16 x 1214 & 4 inches deep; but I think rather larger would be better. The outside to be plain deal.— No lock & key.


The recipient is identified on the basis of an entry in CD’s Address book (Down House MS) recording the address of a Mr Downie, ‘Entom. Box Maker’. It has not been possible to identify Downie any further.
The year is inferred from an entry in CD’s Account book (Down House MS), dated 20 August 1850, that reads: ‘Entomological Box for Willy. Downie’. William Erasmus Darwin, CD’s eldest son, exhibited a ‘passion for collecting Lepidoptera’ in 1850. See Correspondence vol. 4, letter to W. D. Fox, 4 September [1850].


An enquiry about the availability, size, and cost of cork-lined boxes for entomological collections.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Mr Downie
Sent from
Source of text
Autos & Autos (dealers)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1343A,” accessed on 1 December 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 7 (Supplement)