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Darwin Correspondence Project

To E. A. Darwin   21 June [1862]1

Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.

June 21st

Dear Erasmus

My friend Mr. Trenham Reeks, the Secretary at the Museum Jermyn St, would, I am sure, gladly give any information or aid to so distinguished a person as Mr. Carlyle.—2 I do not believe that Books are ever lent out, & Sir R. Murchison could alone give permission.—3 Carlyle could, if he thinks fit, take this note as an introduction to Mr Reeks.—4

Yours affecty | Ch. Darwin


Dated by the relationship to the letter from E. A. Darwin, 20 June [1862].
Thomas Carlyle wanted to borrow a book from the library of the Museum of Practical Geology, Jermyn Street, London, where Trenham Reeks was registrar, librarian, and curator (Post Office London directory 1861, p. 59). Erasmus had sought CD’s help on Carlyle’s behalf (see letter from E. A. Darwin, 20 June [1862]).
Roderick Impey Murchison was director of the Government School of Mines and Museum of Practical Geology, and director-general of the Geological Survey of the United Kingdom, all of which were located in the same building in Jermyn Street, London (Post Office London directory 1861, p. 59). The rules of the library stated that ‘under no circumstances’ was any book ‘allowed to be taken out of the building’ (White and Newton 1878, p. [iii]).
Erasmus enclosed CD’s note in a letter to Carlyle dated 23 June 1862 (National Library of Scotland, MS. 1768: 34–5), for use as an introduction to Reeks. Carlyle in turn gave the letter to Joseph Neuberg, who was assisting him with the research for his life of Frederick II of Prussia (Carlyle 1858–65). At the top of the letter Carlyle wrote: ‘Erasmus Darwin Esqr.— in helping me (T. Carlyle)’; at the end of the letter he added: ‘If Mr Reeks would extend his charity to Mr Neuberg on my behalf?— | T. C.’


His friend Trenham Reeks [Secretary of Museum of Practical Geology] would give Carlyle information and help. This note will serve as introduction.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Erasmus Alvey Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
National Library of Scotland (MS.553: 440 (241))
Physical description
2pp † (by T . Carlyle)

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3617,” accessed on 19 August 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 10