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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. B. Tegetmeier   18 May [1857]1

Down Bromley Kent

May 18th

My dear Sir

I am extremely much obliged for your to me very interesting letter, which I will go through seriatim.2

The Scanderoons shall be sent (I have seen since I wrote some tendency to go to nest) to the address carriage paid on Thursday morning before 12 oclock. The Borneo Fowls shall be sent at same time; for as coming from interior of Borneo (sent by the Rajah Sir J. Brooke) I think they are worth notice, even if not presenting any peculiar character.—

I doubt whether the young Barbs are old enough to travel; but they shall be saved for you.— If Scanderoon dies please remember I shd wish carcase sent per coach by enclosed address as soon as possible to arrive fresh.—

Mr Gulliver never sent me the fine Bird to which you formerly alluded, as dying;3 I shd be very glad of one: if ever you see him pray remind him.— I have long wished for one of the long-winged & long-tailed Runts for examination & Skeleton; When you have done breeding with it, I wish you would sell it me, & tell me at what you value it: I have received so many favours of you, that you must let me, I beg you, purchase it from you, without indeed it is too valuable for my purpose of seeing it alive for a few weeks & then slaughtering it.

Please sometime inform me; & likewise tell me whether I can purchase the Poultry Book which you edit, & who are publishers:4 the deuce is in my Booksellers, why they have not got it me yet: I must give them a rowing: I think I told you that they had sent me an old Edition, not edited, apparently, by you.—5 Is your Edition completed yet?6

Thanks for information about Turbits & for your kind offer of your Birds, but they wd. be of no use to me: the Meave is German: Mr Wicking has the Breed.—

Also, thanks for offer of Fowls eggs for me to see the chickens, but the simple truth is that I have so many objects to observe & experimentise on, that I literally have no time to watch anything else, & as it is, I work too hard.—

Your sitting of the Rumpless, Polands which you have so kindly sent me, are put under a Hen today.—

I shd be very glad to hear what colour your Pigeons from Magpie & Helmet, with the down turns into.—

Lastly thanks for information about crossed Fowls: I am surprised that red does not appear in some crosses.

With my very sincere thanks. My dear Sir | Your’s very truly | Ch. Darwin


The year of the letter is suggested by the relationship to the letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 12 [May 1857].
CD had been trying for some time to acquire a runt from Mr Gulliver (see letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 21 September [1856]).
Tegetmeier ed. 1856–7 was published in parts, beginning in May 1856, by William S. Orr and Co., London.
Tegetmeier’s Poultry book was a rearranged and enlarged edition of an earlier work of the same title published in 1853 by William Wriothesley Wingfield and George William Johnson. CD had first ordered the work from his booksellers in the spring of 1856 (see letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 25 April [1856]).
Publication of Tegetmeier’s Poultry book ceased with part 11, which appeared in July 1857. A new and complete edition (Tegetmeier 1867) was published ten years later, with parts issued regularly in 1866 and 1867.


Tegetmeier, William Bernhard. 1867. The poultry book: comprising the breeding and management of profitable and ornamental poultry, their qualities and characteristics; to which is added ‘The standard of excellence in exhibition birds’, authorized by the Poultry Club. London and New York: George Routledge & Sons.


Lists pigeons and poultry he is forwarding to WBT.

Wants details of WBT’s Poultry book [1856–7]

and is anxious to purchase his long-winged runt.

Thanks him for help and information on fowl crosses.

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 8pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2093,” accessed on 2 June 2023,

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