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Darwin Correspondence Project

From T. L. Brunton   27 November 1881

50 Welbeck St | London W

Novr. 27th. 1881

My dear Mr Darwin

I would have written before but the Science Defence & advancement Fund was in a chaotic condition and is only now taking form.1 You will see by the British Medical Journal which I send you that a number of the leaders of the medical profession have already subscribed.2 I could not get the complete list in time & so Sir Wm. Jenner’s name has been unfortunately omitted. No definite sums are attached to their names but I believe several are subscribing 100 guineas or did intend to do so   I shall probably be able to give you more definite information on Wednesday or perhaps before. When I ascertain what they intend to give under the new conditions viz that the subscriptions are not to be applied to Ferrier’s defence3 but to the defence of others who may be attacked and to a diffusion of knowledge regarding the nature & purposes of vivisection, I will let you know as it is quite possible that under these circumstances they may diminish their subscriptions. I did not write the notice in the British Medical nor did I ever see it otherwise I might have altered it in part. Do not trouble to return the British Medical. I will send you more information as soon as I have any thing definite to communicate.

With best regards & thanks for your kind letter and assistance in this matter I remain | Yours very sincerely | T Lauder Brunton

Chas. Darwin Esq LLD. FRS.


CD wished to contribute to a fund that was being established for the aid of physiologists who might face prosecution for practising vivisection (see letter to T. L. Brunton, 22 November 1881).
The British Medical Journal, 26 November 1881, p. 877, listed a number of ‘eminent medical men’ who had subscribed to a fund for the ‘defence and promotion of science’, adding: ‘and, foremost among men of science was the illustrious Charles Darwin, who was amongst the first to volunteer any necessary aid’.
The case against David Ferrier was eventually dismissed (see The Times, 19 November 1881, p. 10). See letter to T. L. Brunton, 19 November 1881 and n. 1.


Writes regarding subscription to set up the Science Defence and Advancement Fund to protect investigators from anti-vivisectionists and to promote knowledge of the purpose and importance of vivisection.

Letter details

Letter no.
Thomas Lauder Brunton, 1st baronet
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Welbeck St, 50
Source of text
DAR 160: 347
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 13514,” accessed on 13 September 2023,