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Darwin Correspondence Project

To George Johnston   23 November 1852

Down, Farnborough, Kent

November 23, 1852.

I beg to offer my Testimonial to the high claims which Dr. George Johnston1 most justly holds on the gratitude of every British Naturalist, for his zealous endeavours to aid the study, and spread the love of the Natural Sciences. Dr. Johnston has also, by his several Works and Memoirs,2 widely extended our knowledge in several obscure and neglected departments of Zoology. These endeavours have now been perseveringly followed up for many years; and it would, I believe, rejoice every British Naturalist to see such efforts in any way acknowledged and recompensed by the Government

Charles Darwin


Johnston solicited testimonials from a number of people in support of his candidacy for the government pension previously held by Gideon Algernon Mantell, who died 10 November 1852. His application was, however, unsuccessful, for the pension had been specially created for Mantell (Hardy ed. 1892, pp. 473–6). Johnston supplied CD with Balanus specimens attached to gorgonians (see Living Cirripedia (1854): 218, 221, and letter to George Johnston, 6 September 1853).
Johnston was a founder of the Ray Society and the author, among other works, of A history of British zoophytes (Edinburgh, 1838; 2d ed., London, 1841) and A history of British sponges and lithophytes (London, 1842). He contributed a regular series, entitled ‘Illustrations in British zoology’, to the Magazine of Natural History between 1829 and 1834, collected together in An introduction to conchology; or, elements of the natural history of molluscous animals (London, 1850).


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.


Recommends GJ for Government pension.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
George Johnston
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 146: 6
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1491,” accessed on 23 January 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 5