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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. B. Tegetmeier   28 [September 1856]1

Down Bromley Kent


My dear Sir

Very many thanks for the Catalogue just received. If the Black Hen Carrier shd. be a good Bird (& if you do not know yourself, perhaps someone there can inform you), & I mean for my purpose with long beak & narrow flat head, I shd. be glad of one, for I might pick up a cock afterwards. The Roman Runt is, I presume the same as Runts of Anerly, of which breed I have pair from Mr Baily.2 By the way I doubt whether Mr Baker’s3 Scanderoons differ much from Runts, they have rather longer necks, & hardly any other difference. They have not the red seam down the breast.—

The Rabbits being in Hutches will go dear; but if any old one went cheap & appeared good, I shd. be very glad of it alive or strangled, as I have become almost more interested in Rabbits than anything else. In poultry I am getting less interested, though I am going on, & this very morning have sent four good Hens to be skeletonised.—4

For live Birds, I find the following the quickest address. diag C. Darwin

George Inn


[SYMBOL] Kent 5 (To be forwarded)ramme

You know so well what I want & are so very kind that I will leave to your judgment. Carriers are the only distinct Pigeons, which I have not had dead or alive.

Your’s very truly obliged | C. Darwin

What a splendid development of skull your young Polands have.6


Dated by the relationship to the letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 21 September [1856].
John Bailey Jr of Mount Street and his father were expert breeders and dealers in ornamental birds, from whom CD purchased a number of different breeds.
Charles N. or Samuel C. Baker.
According to his Account book (Down House MS), CD paid for these skeletons on 7 October 1856.
A carrier left the George Inn, Borough High Street, and called at Farnborough, Kent every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday (Post Office London directory 1856).
See letters to W. B. Tegetmeier, 20 March [1856], n. 8 and 24 June [1856].


Post Office London directory: Post-Office annual directory. … A list of the principal merchants, traders of eminence, &c. in the cities of London and Westminster, the borough of Southwark, and parts adjacent … general and special information relating to the Post Office. Post Office London directory. London: His Majesty’s Postmaster-General [and others]. 1802–1967.


Specifies pigeons in which he is interested. Has become almost more interested in rabbits than anything else.

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. 2068,” accessed on 21 May 2024,

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