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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. O. Westwood   9 July [1860]

Down Bromley Kent

July 9th. —

My dear Sir

I am very much obliged to your kindness in sending the Bees;1 & I am glad to have seen the pollen-masses attached. I am sorry to say the Hive-Bee came with body loose & what is much worse the pollen-masses were off; I cannot conceive how this could occur for the pin was not loose.—   I can see place where pollen-masses were attached; but I have searched in vain for the pollen-masses themselves. I suppose they must have rolled out of Box, whilst I was looking at the Bee, but I do not think that I inclined the Box sufficiently for this— I am extremely sorry for this accident.

I do not know of Morren’s paper about Orchids & insects.2 I was much interested by one on the part which insects play in the fertilisation of the (I think) Stylideæ,3 & shd be glad to have any other reference if you will take the trouble to send it.—

With my best thanks & sincere regret for the accident to your Bee which is unaccountable to me, I remain, My dear Sir | Yours sincerely | C. Darwin

I have spent so much money lately that I am not willing to subscribe for the purchase of Wollaston’s collections for your Museum.—4


See letter to J. O. Westwood, 25 June [1860], in which CD requested from Westwood specimens of bees with pollinia attached.
Morren 1836. The paper is not cited in Orchids. For CD’s further correspondence with Westwood about this paper, see Correspondence vol. 9.
Westwood was the curator of the Hope Entomological collection, housed in the new Oxford University Museum. Frederick William Hope presented his collection of insects and other natural history specimens, as well as portraits and prints, to the university in 1849. He also endowed a chair of zoology, to which Westwood was appointed in December 1860. See A. Z. Smith 1986. Westwood was soliciting subscriptions toward the purchase of Thomas Vernon Wollaston’s collection of land and freshwater shells from Madeira, which the museum acquired in 1861 (A. Z. Smith 1986, p. 161).


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

Morren, Charles François Antoine. 1836. On the agency of insects in causing sterility in flowers by the removal of the masculine organs, observed amongst the Asclepiadeæ. Transactions of the Entomological Society 1: Proceedings, pp. xliv–xlv. [Vols. 8,9]

Morren, Charles François Antoine. 1838. Recherches sur le mouvement et l’anatomie du Stylidium graminifolium. Nouveaux Mémoires de l’Academie Royale des Sciences et Belles Lettres de Bruxelles 11: 1–22.

Orchids: On the various contrivances by which British and foreign orchids are fertilised by insects, and on the good effects of intercrossing. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1862.

Smith, Audrey Z. 1986. A history of the Hope entomological collections in the University Museum Oxford; with lists of archives and collections. Oxford: Clarendon Press. [Vols. 8,9]


Thanks JOW for the bees. The pollen-masses that were attached to one of them have unaccountably been lost.

Does not know of a paper by Charles Morren on orchids and insects, and would be glad to have the reference [see 3267, and Orchids, p. 270 n.].

Has spent so much money recently he is unwilling to subscribe for the purchase of T. V. Wollaston’s collection for the [Oxford] Museum.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Obadiah Westwood
Sent from
Source of text
Oxford University Museum of Natural History (Hope Entomological collections)
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2862,” accessed on 15 September 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 8