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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. B. Tegetmeier   11 May [1856]1

Down Bromley Kent

May 11th

My dear Sir

To take your note seriatim, I am very much obliged for the authentic information in regard to the Laughing Pigeons:2 I shall be most particularly glad to have the pair you refer to at 7s.. or more if you think right.

I am almost sorry I did not get the Silk fowls for 18s. though it would have been rather extravagant as one dead Bird would have done as well for me; nevertheless I am rather sorry that I was not extravagant.—

Very many thanks for the renewed offer of the Silver-spangled Poland eggs.—

With respect to the Anerley Show,3 I have very great fears I shall not be at home, which I shall very much regret; but I am going to take my whole Family to Tenby for a month or 5 weeks,4 & I doubt whether I shall have returned.

If you really think the committee would like my name, certainly I can have no sort of objection to the compliment thus paid me.5

I suppose in such cases any sort of title is adviseable, so that you can, if you think fit, append to my name “Vice Pres: Royal Society” & F. Zoolog. Soc.y if you like.—

With many thanks for all your kindness, pray believe me | Your’s very sincerely | Ch. Darwin

PS. With respect to Steven’s sale-list if you see anything which might interest me, I shd. be very much obliged for a copy, but not otherwise.—6


Dated by the reference to the Anerley show and to CD’s proposed Tenby trip (see nn. 3 and 4, below).
The poultry and pigeon show held from 29 July to 1 August 1856 at Anerley Gardens, near the Crystal Palace in Sydenham, Kent. CD had attended the 1855 exhibition (see Correspondence vol. 5, letter to W. D. Fox, 31 July [1855]). The 1856 show was the last one held because it failed to meet expenses (see Secord 1981, p. 171).
The Darwin family did not go to Tenby because of Emma Darwin’s poor health (see letter to W. D. Fox, 8 June [1856]), so CD was able to attend the Anerley exhibition (see letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 14 August [1856]).
Possibly a reference to the fact that Tegetmeier was the general manager of the poultry section for the Anerley show (Cottage Gardener 16 (1856): 339). No specific use of CD’s name has been found in reports of the Anerley show.
The sale catalogue of John Crace Stevens, poultry and pigeon auctioneer in Covent Garden, London.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Secord, James Andrew. 1981. Nature’s fancy: Charles Darwin and the breeding of pigeons. Isis 72: 162–86.


Thanks WBT for help with pigeons and poultry.

Will probably be away at the time of Anerley show.

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
ALS 4pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1873,” accessed on 10 December 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 6