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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Richard Owen   10 September [1850]

Down Farnborough Kent

Sept. 10th.

My dear Owen

I always take shame to myself to trouble you, but I hope soon to go to press with my wearyful fossil Cirripedia, & am anxious to see the account in Mr Dixons work1 of the species therein described.— I believe you have superintended the whole: can you oblige me by a loan of the proof-sheets on Cirripedia?—2 Mr Sowerby has shown me the Plates.—3

Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin

P.S. | It this minute occurs to me that I have been intending to beg another favour of you, to get me permission to examine (if possible) one of the smaller specimens of Balanus glacialis in the Museum,4 attached to some shrimp-like creature. If such be possible, will you send parcel to diag C. Darwin

care of G. Snow

Nag’s Head


I have in vain elsewhere endeavoured to see this Balanus. I write formal note to show if required.5


Following the death of Frederick Dixon in 1849, Owen undertook to edit his work for the press. The volume was published the end of December 1850 (Publishers’ Circular, 1 January 1851).
J. de C. Sowerby made the drawings for F. Dixon 1850 (Fossil Cirripedia (1851): 38).
Listed in the catalogue, Royal College of Surgeons 1830, Pt IV, p. 74. However, in Living Cirripedia (1854): 262, CD stated: In various collections, I find specimens of B. crenatus, when coming from the arctic regions, called B. glacialis, … though I have not met with an authentic specimen of the B. glacialis of Gray … I have little doubt that it would prove to be the present species.
See letter to Richard Owen, 10 September [1850] (calendar number 1356).


Dixon, Frederick. 1850. The geology and fossils of the Tertiary and Cretaceous formations of Sussex. London.

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

Living Cirripedia (1854): A monograph of the sub-class Cirripedia, with figures of all the species. The Balanidæ (or sessile cirripedes); the Verrucidæ, etc. By Charles Darwin. London: Ray Society. 1854.

Royal College of Surgeons. 1830. Catalogue of the Hunterian collection in the Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons in London. 2 vols., pts I–V. London.


About to go to press with "wearyful" Fossil Cirripedia [vol. 1 (1851)];

would like to borrow proof-sheets of Frederick Dixon’s work [The geology and fossils of the Tertiary and Cretaceous formations of Sussex (1850)]. Would also like to borrow a specimen of Balanus glacialis from Royal College of Surgeons. Encloses formal request [see 1356].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Richard Owen
Sent from
Source of text
Natural History Museum, Library and Archives (General Special Collections Owen correspondence 9/198)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1355,” accessed on 2 December 2021,

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