skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

From Francis Trevelyan Buckland   [before 11 December 1864]1

37 Albany St. | Regent’s Park. | N. W.

lots of things to interest you. As with oysters2 so with fish— Salmon & trout differ according to the rivers & the rule is the bigger the river the bigger the fish. I am making a series of casts of fish, as stuffed fish are abominations—3 I want much to show you our fish hatchery operations at Hampton near Hampton Court4   we hope this year to hatch out 100,000 fish   I hope at Galway to hatch out half a million—5

I quoted your book the other day on a Salmon arbitration case   The other side wanted to make out that if the fishery had increased for seven years, it would go on increasing in same ratio for 28 years— They forgot the rules you have laid down as regards elements of self destruction in creatures—6 It was a question of one hundred thousand pounds so you will I think agree with me that “Practical Natural” History is important rather—

I fear I have bothered you with all this rigmarole

Yours ever | Frank Buckland


The date is established by the relationship between this letter, the letter to F. T. Buckland, 11 December [1864], and the letter from F. T. Buckland, 13 December 1864.
The first part of the letter seems to have contained a discussion of oysters and may have been cut out by CD for use in Variation (see letter to F. T. Buckland, 11 December [1864]). Buckland began studying oyster culture in 1864 and lectured widely on the subject (Bompas 1885, p. 149).
In November 1864, Buckland began to make a series of coloured casts of fish for display in the South Kensington Museum, London (Bompas 1885, p. 149). For Buckland’s interest in fish culture, see also the letter from Alfred Newton, 7 April 1864 and n. 2, and the letter to F. T. Buckland, 11 December [1864] and n. 7.
Buckland was engaged in the construction of a hatchery in Hampton, Middlesex, by the Thames Angling Preservation Society (Burgess 1967, p. 98).
At the end of December, Buckland visited salmon fisheries in Galway, Ireland (Bompas 1885, p. 151).
In Origin, pp. 60–79, CD discussed factors that check the population growth of species.


Bompas, George C. 1885. Life of Frank Buckland. London: Smith, Elder & Co.

Burgess, G. H. O. 1967. The curious world of Frank Buckland. London: John Baker.

Origin: On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859.

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


Salmon and trout increase in size with river.

Wishes to show CD fish hatchery near Hampton Court.

Quoted CD’s book on self-destruction within species in a salmon arbitration case.

Letter details

Letter no.
Francis Trevelyan (Frank) Buckland
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Albany St, 37
Source of text
DAR 160: 358
Physical description
ALS 2pp inc

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4363,” accessed on 24 September 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 12