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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. S. Henslow   29 October [1855]

Down Bromley Kent

Oct. 29th.

My dear Henslow

I received some time since the capital collection of Pois sans Parchemin & the Beet for which very many thanks, & still more for you having got them so cheaply!

I have seen Hooker since his return & he told me a little about your goings on at Paris,1 which must have answered very well. I wish I had steam & strength enough to go.

Whenever quite convenient will you send me off the seeds which your little girls have collected for me, addressed as follows diag C. Darwin Esqe


care of G. Snow

Nag’s Head

Borough.ramme and then I must send a P. order as a present to the little collectors.2 The plants from the Lychnis seed & Myosotis have come up splendidly; & next Spring their torments shall commence.3

Ever my dear Henslow, Yours most truly | C. Darwin

My wife & self went to Glasgow & we were disappointed in not meeting you, which we had calculated on. It was a good, but not very brilliant meeting.—4


Hooker had joined Henslow and his daughter Louisa at the Paris Exhibition of 1855. Henslow had been asked to exhibit some wax models illustrating the structure of fruits that he used in his teaching at Hitcham. To Henslow’s distress, the June heat in Paris caused the models to melt. See Russell-Gebbett 1977, pp. 112–13.
CD paid children of Henslow’s parish to collect and count seeds for him. See letters to J. S. Henslow, 14 July [1855], 21 July [1855], 28 July [1855], and 23 [August or September 1855].
CD planned experiments to see whether he could produce ‘sports’ in these plants by subjecting them to different colours of light. See letter to J. S. Henslow, 27 June [1855].
The British Association for the Advancement of Science had met in Glasgow, 12–19 September.


Russell-Gebbett, Jean. 1977. Henslow of Hitcham: botanist, educationalist and clergyman. Lavenham, Suffolk: Terence Dalton.


Gives directions for sending seeds collected at Hitcham. The Lychnis and Myosotis have come up. Will begin their "torments" next spring [i.e., experiments to produce "sports"].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Stevens Henslow
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 93: A101–A102
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1770,” accessed on 30 June 2022,

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