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Darwin Correspondence Project

From W. B. Tegetmeier   [after 24 January 1866]1

Muswell Hill | N

My dear Sir

I write a hasty line to acknowledge the receipt of yours with enclosure—

The expenses and trouble which I have incurred have been so slight that your remittance far overpays them.2

I have heard from Mr Zurhorst and shall meet him next week. we will both repeat experiments and consequently their will be but little chance of error   I shall arrange with him as to our exact modes of trial—3

If you would like I can send you a set of engravings as far as they are done.4

Believe me | Very truly Yours | W B Tegetmeier

C. Darwin Esq.

Mr Blyth is writing some articles on Indian Cattle, (Gaours and Gayals) in the Field.5 I can cut them out and send you if you like, I am sure you will be sorry to hear they are from a place of enforced temporary quietness a private asylum in fact—6


The date is established by the relationship between this letter and the date of CD’s payment to Tegetmeier (see n. 2, below).
CD’s letter has not been found. On 24 January 1866, CD recorded a payment of £3 3s. to Tegetmeier for woodcuts (CD’s Classed account books (Down House MS)); CD had previously invited Tegetmeier to commission and supervise the engravings of pigeons and fowl for Variation, for a fee of two guineas (Correspondence vol. 13, letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 14 March [1865] and nn. 11 and 12).
CD had wanted Frederick William Zurhorst to repeat an earlier experiment (see letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 16 January [1866] and n. 5).
See letter from W. B. Tegetmeier, 22 January [1866], for a list of engravings of pigeons and fowl that had been made for Variation.
Edward Blyth published two short articles on Indian cattle in the Field, dealing chiefly with gaurs, Bos gaurus, and gayals, B. gaurus frontalis (Blyth 1866a and Blyth 1866b; see also Grzimek ed. 1972, pp. 360–4). CD cited Blyth as an authority on feral cattle and briefly referred to the gayal in Variation 1: 79–80, 82.
Edward Blyth formerly wrote frequently to CD from India on biological topics (see Correspondence vols. 5–7); he left India for England in 1862 (Correspondence vol. 10, letter from Edward Blyth, 23 November 1862 and n. 4). Blyth was apparently incapacitated during 1865 and 1866, and may have been confined to a private asylum; by 1869, his sister complained of his ‘excessive drinking’ (letter from Clara Sarah Blyth to Alfred Newton, 28 June 1869, Alfred Newton papers–CUL; see also letters from Clara Sarah Blyth to Alfred Newton, 1 December 1865 and 31 March 1866, Alfred Newton papers–CUL). Blyth’s mental problems and alcoholism are further considered in Brandon-Jones 1995, pp. 92–3, and Brandon-Jones 1997, pp. 172–3 and n. 150.


Brandon-Jones, Christine. 1995. Long gone and forgotten: reassessing the life and career of Edward Blyth, zoologist. Archives of Natural History 22: 91–5.

Brandon-Jones, Christine. 1997. Edward Blyth, Charles Darwin, and the animal trade in nineteenth-century India and Britain. Journal of the History of Biology 30: 145–78.

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 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 for the remittance.

Both WBT and Mr Zurhorst will repeat Zurhorst’s experiment to eliminate any chance of error.

Edward Blyth is writing on Indian cattle for the Field [27 (1866): 55–6, 77].

Letter details

Letter no.
William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Muswell Hill
Source of text
DAR 178: 70
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4979,” accessed on 5 June 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 14