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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Isaac Anderson-Henry   14 February 1863

Woodend, Maderty, Crieff.

February 14/63

My dear Sir

I received your Letter dated the 2d Inst on the eve of my starting for this place, and was truly sorry to observe that your health had imposed on you the necessity of going away for a change of air.1 I hope you have derived the much to be desired benefit from that change, and are now again returned to the scene of your labours in fit frame to pursue them with that ardour & success which have hitherto so distinguished them. I find it necessary too to make a change occasionally, and here, in a solitude, I can recruit at leisure, tho’ as Chairman of a Parochial Board here I am not without some smatter of Business to vary the quiet monotony of Country life2

But here I am away from my laboratory—and at a distance from it I find myself unfitted to resume the all engrossing subjects to which your Letters allude. But depend upon my aiding you in all I can in the field you are now upon where brighter laurels than have yet been gathered await you

Singularly, the frenchman M. Neumann,3—your information as to whom obliges & gratifies me much,—put that question to me you do—whether I knew an instance of seed from a weeping tree reproducing a weeper? I must make the same answer to you I did to him— I am unacquainted with such a result & never myself tried the experiment

I shall set to work on the experiments you alluded to—and my Gardener at Hay Lodge writes me of the arrival of a hamper of plants from London containing some of the subjects4

Meantime with fervent wishes for your better health | I am | yours most faithy | I. anderson Henry

I return to Hay Lodge next Wednesday

Charles Darwin Esqre. F.R.S. &c.


See letter to Isaac Anderson-Henry, 2 February [1863]. CD was in London from 4 to 14 February 1863 (see ‘Journal’ (Correspondence vol. 11, Appendix II)).
Following his marriage to the heiress of the landed estate of Woodend, Perthshire, Anderson-Henry divided his time between their country home and his house in Edinburgh (Gardeners’ Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette, 22 March 1873, p. 399). Parochial boards, established in each parish by the Scottish Poor Law Act of 1845, were responsible for the administration of relief to the poor and the sick (see Clarke 1955).
In his letter of 31 January 1863, Anderson-Henry informed CD that he had been corresponding with Louis Neumann, a gardener at the Jardin des Plantes, the botanical department of the Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris. CD had requested information on weeping trees to incorporate into chapter 12 of Variation, which he had begun writing on 23 January (see letter to Isaac Anderson-Henry, 2 February 1863, ‘Journal’ (Correspondence vol. 11, Appendix II), and Variation 2: 18–19). See also letter to Thomas Rivers, 1 February [1863]. The results of Neumann’s extensive inquiries on weeping trees were published in Verlot 1864. See also letter from John Scott, 3 March 1863.
In his letter to Isaac Anderson-Henry, 20 January [1863], CD gave details of a series of experiments which he hoped Anderson-Henry would undertake. Alexander Donald was head gardener to Anderson-Henry at Hay Lodge, Edinburgh (Census returns 1871 (General Register Office for Scotland: 692/1/19/119)).


Clarke, John J. 1955. A history of local government of the United Kingdom. London: Herbert Jenkins.

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Variation: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868.

Verlot, Bernard. 1864. Mémoire sur la production et la fixation des variétés dans les plantes d’ornement. Journal de la Société Impériale et Centrale d’Horticulture 10: 243–56, 305–20, 375–84, 420–32, 468–80, 518–28, 571–6, 624–40.


On holiday; cannot answer CD’s questions.

Letter details

Letter no.
Isaac Anderson/Isaac Anderson Henry
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 159: 63
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3985,” accessed on 5 March 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 11