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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. B. Tegetmeier   14 August [1856]1

Down Bromley Kent

Augt 14th

My dear Sir

When at Anerly Show the end of Catalogue which I got, was not completed;2 & I shd. be very much obliged if you would take the trouble (if you can remember) to tell me whose some very much elongated, Blue Runts, with black bars, belonged to. They were in the last pen but one in a row. I want to find out, if I can, something of their history:3 they struck me as very singular birds.—

The two young Scanderoons are coming on well & becoming feathered, & in about 3 weeks will be ready for you.—4

I hope you are recovered from your gigantic labours at the Show.—5

Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin

These Blue Runts stood next to a pair of black mottled Runts.—


Dated by CD’s reference to the Anerley poultry show (see n. 2, below).
The second annual poultry and pigeon show held at Anerley Gardens took place from 29 July to 1 August 1856.
CD discussed these and similarly marked pigeons in Variation 1: 195–6. He reported that blue birds of any race almost invariably showed black wing-bars. These markings characterised wild Columba livia and CD believed they indicated the origin of the domestic races.
CD had promised Tegetmeier a pair of Scanderoons in letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 24 June [1856].
Tegetmeier was called in at the last minute to supervise the Anerley show (Cottage Gardener 16 (1856): 355–6).


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


Inquires about pigeons seen at 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 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1941,” accessed on 8 June 2023,

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