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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. B. Tegetmeier   16 November [1855]

Down Bromley Kent

Nov. 16th.

My dear Sir

I have to come to London next Thursday & if it would be perfectly convenient I should very much like to have half-an-hour’s conversation with you on Friday morning & see your skulls & any birds which you may have.— Would you be so kind as to take the trouble to send me one line to say whether this would suit you; if not I must defer my call till some other opportunity.1 Further shd. you think me very unreasonable proposing to leave the Great Northern Station at so early an hour as 10 oclock (if there be a Train for I have lost my Bradshaw, & have only a very old one) for I have a good deal to do, & must return home on the same afternoon.

Pray forgive this trouble & believe me | My dear Sir | Yours very faithfully | Charles Darwin


According to E. W. Richardson 1916, p. 102, Tegetmeier referred to this letter in his ‘life history album’ as ‘Darwin’s first letter to me, making appointment to come to Wood Green on Thursday, November—to see my collection of skulls, etc. Letter dated Nov. 16th, 1855.’ In an autobiographical article written in 1904, Tegetmeier recalled this meeting: ‘When he went away he took with him a box of skulls and other specimens, many of which have been engraved in his well-known volumes on variation, and this led to a friendship which lasted until his death.’ (E. W. Richardson 1916, p. 102). Tegetmeier was mistaken, however, in recalling that this was CD’s first letter to him.


Richardson, Edmund William. 1916. A veteran naturalist; being the life and work of W. B. Tegetmeier. London: Witherby & Co.


Is going to London on Thursday [22nd] and would like to call on WBT on Friday.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Sent from
Source of text
Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Physical description
3pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1782,” accessed on 15 May 2021,

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