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Darwin Correspondence Project

From John Maurice Herbert   3 May 1867

Rocklands, | Ross.

3 May 1867

My dear Darwin

I think dear old Dawes was a friend of yours— If so, and you consider him worthy of a memorial, do you feel disposed to subscribe? The enclosed papers will show you that we have made a beginning. The form of the Memorial has not yet been decided upon. The Dean’s death has been a sad blow to me— He was my dearest & most intimate friend in this neighbourhood—1

I suppose you are still busy at the old work—writing huge books, and gaining fresh heaps of immortality— I was glad to hear from Profr. Tyndal some few months back that Dr. Bence Jones had made a new man of you—2

I sincerely hope, my dear old friend, that the restoration is complete and permanent— Oh that you were frisky enough to pay us a visit in the course of the Summer— Nothing wd. give Mrs. Herbert & me greater pleasure than to receive you & Mrs. Darwin.3

Pray give her our kindest regards, & accept the same from yrs. always | J M Herbert

C. Darwin Esq


Richard Dawes, dean of Hereford, died on 10 March 1867; he had been a fellow at Downing College, Cambridge, when CD was an undergraduate at Christ’s and Herbert at St John’s (Alum. Cantab., DNB). Dawes had lived at the Deanery in Hereford; Herbert lived sixteen miles from Hereford at Goodrich, near Ross, Herefordshire (Post Office directory of Gloucestershire, with Bath, Bristol, Herefordshire, and Shropshire 1863). Dawes’s memorial was an altar tomb in the north-east transept of Hereford Cathedral, paid for by public subscription (Havergal 1881). The enclosures have not been found.
Herbert refers to John Tyndall, professor of natural philosophy at the Royal Institution of Great Britain and the Royal School of Mines (ODNB), and the physician Henry Bence Jones. Jones had been treating CD since July 1865; CD believed Jones’s treatment had been beneficial (see Correspondence vol. 13).
Herbert refers to his wife, Mary Anne Herbert, and to Emma Darwin. For an indication of the friendly relations between the Darwins and the Herberts, see Correspondence vol. 3, letter to J. M. Herbert, [3 September? 1846], and Correspondence vol. 6, letter to J. M. Herbert, 2 January [1856].


Alum. Cantab.: Alumni Cantabrigienses. A biographical list of all known students, graduates and holders of office at the University of Cambridge, from the earliest times to 1900. Compiled by John Venn and J. A. Venn. 10 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1922–54.

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

DNB: Dictionary of national biography. Edited by Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee. 63 vols. and 2 supplements (6 vols.). London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1912. Dictionary of national biography 1912–90. Edited by H. W. C. Davis et al. 9 vols. London: Oxford University Press. 1927–96.

Havergal, Francis Tebbs. 1881. Monumental inscriptions in the cathedral church of Hereford. London: Simpkin, Marshall & Co. Walsall: W. H. Robinson. Hereford: Jakeman & Carver.

ODNB: Oxford dictionary of national biography: from the earliest times to the year 2000. (Revised edition.) Edited by H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. 60 vols. and index. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2004.

Post Office directory of Gloucestershire, with Bath, Bristol, Herefordshire, and Shropshire: Post Office directory of Gloucestershire, with Bath, Bristol, Herefordshire, and Shropshire. Post Office directory of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, and the City of Bristol. Post Office directory of Shropshire, Herefordshire, and Gloucestershire, with the City of Bristol. London: Kelly & Co. 1856–79.


Asks whether CD will subscribe to a memorial for Richard Dawes [1793–1867].

Letter details

Letter no.
John Maurice Herbert
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 166: 184
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5526,” accessed on 26 September 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 15