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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. S. Henslow   25 September [1857]1

Down Bromley Kent

Sept. 25th

My dear Henslow

I have this minute writing to my son at Rugby,2 to tell him of your magnificent present. The Copper will especially delight him; & I write now to give you our hearty thanks.3

I hope Hooker will come here this autumn & then he will bring the specimens; & if he does not come I must run over to Kew for a day.

Please remember sometime when at Ipswich to enquire whether water-fowl have ever been seen on the great tank of Mr. Ransome’s.4

Ever my dear Henslow | Your’s most truly | C. Darwin


The year is established by the reminder to Henslow to find out about birds on the tank at Ipswich, as previously mentioned in the letter to J. D. Hooker, 11 September [1857].
William Erasmus Darwin had returned to Rugby School on 20 August 1857 (Emma Darwin’s diary).
Henslow proposed to give CD some butterfly specimens (see letter to J. D. Hooker, [23 October 1857]). ‘Copper’ is short for the rare ‘copper-butterfly’, the common name of the genus Lycaena, so called from the metallic colouring of their wings (OED).


OED: The Oxford English dictionary. Being a corrected re-issue with an introduction, supplement and bibliography of a new English dictionary. Edited by James A. H. Murray, et al. 12 vols. and supplement. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1970. A supplement to the Oxford English dictionary. 4 vols. Edited by R. W. Burchfield. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1972–86. The Oxford English dictionary. 2d edition. 20 vols. Prepared by J. A. Simpson and E. S. C. Weiner. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1989. Oxford English dictionary additional series. 3 vols. Edited by John Simpson et al. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1993–7.


Thanks JSH for his magnificent present. Hopes Hooker will bring the specimens.

Have water-fowl ever been seen at Ipswich on Mr Ransome’s great tank?

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Stevens Henslow
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 93: A58–9
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2329,” accessed on 15 July 2020,

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