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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Edward Gray    1 January [1840]1

12 Upper Gower Street

1st Jany

My dear Sir,

I have great pleasure in assuring you, that I have invariably received, when visiting the British Museum the greatest attention from you, and every facility in investigating the objects of Natural History deposited therein. I should think if I may be allowed to say so, that your extensive acquaintance with so many different Classes of Animals (an advantage possessed by few naturalists) would give you strong claims to hold the situation which Mr Children is about to resign—2

Believe me my dear sir | yours truly | (signed) Charles Darwin


Dated by Gray’s appointment as keeper of the zoological department of the British Museum (seen. 2, below).
Gray was appointed keeper on 11 April 1840. His application for the post was supported by testimonials from 31 prominent naturalists. The testimonials, or copies of them, are in Gray’s papers. John George Children was keeper of the zoological department from 1822 until his resignation in 1840 (Gunther 1975).


Testimonial in behalf of JEG’s application for the position of keeper of the zoological department of the British Museum from which John George Children was about to resign.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Edward Gray
Sent from
London, Upper Gower St, 12
Source of text
Natural History Museum, Library and Archives (General Library, J. E. Gray Miscellaneous papers vol. 1: f.118)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 548C,” accessed on 5 June 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 7 (Supplement)