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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. B. Tegetmeier   [18 September 1856]1

Leith Hill Place | Dorking Surrey


My dear Sir

Your letter has been forwarded here.— I am very glad that you approve of the Scanderoons.—

Many thanks for your offers about dead Pigeons.— I return home tomorrow & will then look over my Catalogue & gratefully tell you what I want.2

I have got to care very much about Rabbits & Ducks, as the evidence is better of single origin than in most cases, & therefore differences in their structure the more concerns me. Should any odd Duck (domestic) or Rabbit be ever offered not very dear at Steven’s I shd. be very glad to purchase.—

I was most sincerely sorry to hear of the death of our old & excellent friend,—Yarrell.—3

Your’s very sincerely | C. Darwin


Dated by the relationship to the letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 30 August [1856], and by CD’s reference to being away from home. CD recorded that he visited his sister Caroline and her husband, Josiah Wedgwood III, at their home, Leith Hill Place, from 13 to 19 September 1856 (‘Journal’; Appendix II).
CD’s Catalogue of Down Specimens (Down House MS) lists his specimens of experimental animals, including the pigeons.
William Yarrell died on 1 September 1856. CD had consulted him before sailing in the Beagle in 1831 and had maintained a correspondence with him after his return. It was Yarrell who had first introduced CD to Tegetmeier (see Correspondence vol. 5, letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 31 August [1855], n. 2).


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


CD concerned with rabbits and ducks because evidence of their single origin is "better … than in most cases".

Death of William Yarrell.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Sent from
Leith Hill Place
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. 1955,” accessed on 3 February 2023,

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