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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Thomas Campbell Eyton   9 January [1865?]1

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

Jan. 9th

Dear Eyton

I am uncommonly much obliged to you for your facts about breeding:2 if any other striking case should occur to you, perhaps you will have kindness to inform me.

I am equally or even more obliged for promised measurements of web of feet of Otter Hounds: if you possibly can will you give me comparative with Fox Hounds or Harriers; for I have here no opportunity of seeing Dogs.3

With hearty thanks | Ever yours sincerely | Charles Darwin


The year is conjectured from the relationship between this letter, the letter to F. T. Buckland, 11 December [1864], and the letter to T. C. Eyton, 29 December [1864?] (Correspondence vol. 12).
Eyton’s letter has not been found. The facts to which CD refers are probably cases of sterility between normally fertile mammals or birds; CD cited instances of sexual incompatibility communicated to him by Eyton in Variation 2: 162. CD requested such information in his letter to Eyton of 29 December [1864?] (Correspondence vol. 12).
In his letter of 29 December [1864?] (Correspondence vol. 12), CD had asked Eyton to examine the feet of otter-hounds. Eyton may be the ‘friend’ cited in Variation 1: 39–40 as the source of information that English otter-hounds, as dogs with aquatic habits, have more skin between their toes than do other hounds; however, see also Correspondence vol. 12, letter to F. T. Buckland, 11 December [1864].


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.


Thanks TCE for information about breeding

and for his promise to measure feet of otter-hounds [see Variation 1: 39–40].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Thomas Campbell Eyton
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.285)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4744,” accessed on 18 February 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 13