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Darwin Correspondence Project

From T. H. Huxley   4 November 1864

Jermyn St

Nov. 4th 1864

My dear Darwin

I write two lines which are not to be answered, just to say how delighted I am at the result of the doings of the Council of the Royal Society yesterday1   Many of us were somewhat doubtful of the result—and the more ferocious sort had begun to whet their beaks and sharpen their claws in preparation for taking a very decided course of action had there been any failure of justice this time—2 But the affair was settled by a splendid majority3 and our ruffled feathers are smoothed down

Your well won reputation would not have been lessened by the lack of the Copley—but it would have been an indelible reproach to the Royal Society not to have given it you and a good many of us had no notion of being made to share that ignominy—

But quite apart from all these grand public spirited motives & their result—you ought as a philanthropist to be rejoiced in the great satisfaction the award has given to your troop of friends   to none more than my wife4 (whom I woke up to tell the news when I got home 〈la〉te last night)

Yours Ever | T. H. Huxley

Please remember us very kindly to Mrs Darwin & make our congratulations to her, on owning a Copley medallist


The Council of the Royal Society of London voted to award CD the Copley Medal on 3 November 1864 (Royal Society, Council minutes). See letter from Edward Sabine, 3 November 1864.
CD had been nominated for the Copley Medal in 1862 and 1863. In 1862, the medal was awarded to Thomas Graham; in 1863, it was awarded to Adam Sedgwick (Record of the Royal Society of London, p. 347). See letter from John Lubbock, 3 November 1864 and n. 2, and Appendix IV.
Henrietta Anne Huxley.


Record of the Royal Society of London: The record of the Royal Society of London for the promotion of natural knowledge. 4th edition. London: Royal Society. 1940.


His pleasure at Royal Society Copley Medal for CD. Recounts meeting of Royal Society Council.

Letter details

Letter no.
Thomas Henry Huxley
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Jermyn St
Source of text
DAR 166: 303
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4655,” accessed on 18 April 2021,

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