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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. D. Fox   22 August [1855]

Down Farnborough Kent

Aug 22d

My dear Fox

Many thanks for the little Dorking received this morning. You sent before a White Dorking. I shd like to know in what respect the “splendaceous” Dorking received this morning differs from the white, except in colour:— You once said the breeds of Dorking were considerably different. I have had from you. diag Aylesbury

Call Duck.


White Dorking

“splendaceous” Dorking Chicken.



When I get the Game & Spanish I shall be complete. A neighbour, I find, has very true Spanish, & I have just sent to know whether I can get chicken from him, & will append P.S.

By your letter you seem to think you have sent Spanish, but I have not received such.—

But I have received a magnificent, stupendous old Spanish Cock, (& his bones are now whitening) from Mr Wilmot(?);1 I did not write to thank for I did not know name & address, & I forgot to write to you, which I ought to have done.—

With respect to other old Birds, I must get old Dorking, Game, Cochin, & Sebright Bantam, & Call Duck. Some few of them you can perhaps help me to; the rest I can get somehow or Buy from Baily.— I have had a pair of rumpless Fowls given me. And I have now got 4 splendid races of Pigeons, which amuse me extremely.—

Thank you very much for all your manifold assistance & believe me | Ever yours | C. Darwin

P.S. | I can get a Spanish Chicken & am truly glad to save you one murder, you best & kindest of Murderers.—


Possibly Eardley Nicholas Wilmot of Malvern, whose father, Robert Wilmot, had been the landlord of Osmaston Hall, where Fox had lived with his parents, or E. E. Wilmot of Congleton referred to in Variation 1: 293.


Variation: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868.


Reports on his collection of skeletons of young and adults of various breeds of fowls and specimens still needed.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Darwin Fox
Sent from
Source of text
Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 94a)
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1745,” accessed on 23 April 2024,

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