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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. B. Tegetmeier   9 July [1866]1

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

July 9

My dear Sir

I am much obliged for your note & for all the trouble which you have so kindly taken about the Rock Pigeon.2 I shall be glad to see the proofs when I can. All the skulls &c are now in the engraver’s hands.3

I am sorry but not at all surprized to hear the result of your experiment with the Cochin & Spanish fowls; I think Mr Zurhorst must have made a mistake.4

I have read with interest Mr. Teebay’s article & I should have read it without your pointing it out as I re-read all the numbers & an excellent book it appears to me to be.5

My dear Sir | yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from W. B. Tegetmeier, 4 July 1866.
Chapter 5 of Variation contained six engravings of pigeon skulls (pp. 163–7). The drawings were made by Luke Wells, and the engraving was done by the firm of Butterworth and Heath (see Correspondence vol. 13, letter from W. B. Tegetmeier to John Murray and R. F. Cooke, 17 April 1865). Tegetmeier had provided many of the skulls for CD’s study of the anatomical characteristics of different breeds (see ibid., letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 27 February [1865]).
Tegetmeier’s information was evidently in a missing portion of his letter of 4 July 1866. CD had suggested an experiment on the eggs from a cross between Cochin and Spanish fowl, in order to test findings of an earlier experiment by Frederick William Zurhorst. See letter from W. B. Tegetmeier, 22 January [1866] and n. 9. See also letter from W. B. Tegetmeier, 10 December [1866].
The article by Richard Teebay appeared in Tegetmeier 1867, pp. 154–8. See letter from W. B. Tegetmeier, 4 July 1866 and n. 4. On Tegetmeier’s new edition of The poultry book, see the letter from W. B. Tegetmeier, 22 January [1866] and nn. 11 and 12.


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

Tegetmeier, William Bernhard. 1867. The poultry book: comprising the breeding and management of profitable and ornamental poultry, their qualities and characteristics; to which is added ‘The standard of excellence in exhibition birds’, authorized by the Poultry Club. London and New York: George Routledge & Sons.

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


WBT’s fowls’ skulls are being engraved; will see pigeon illustration proofs when he can.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Sent from
Source of text
Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5152,” accessed on 8 May 2021,

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