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Darwin Correspondence Project

To the President and Council of the Geological Society of London1   24 March 1840

12 Upper Gower St

March 24th. 1840


It is with much regret, that I feel myself compelled, from the state of my health to resign the office of one of your secretaries. The only apology I can offer, for not having taken this step before the day of the Anniversary,2 which probably would have been more convenient, is, that I did not at that time anticipate its necessity, and the regret I felt at giving up so very honourable a post led me to defer it, as long as I was able.— Should there be any delay in filling my place, I shall be happy to attend in it, as often as my health permits

I have the honour to remain | Gentlemen | Your obedient servant | Charles Darwin3 To the President and Council | of the Geological Society.


William Buckland was President in 1840.
The officers and Council members were elected at the annual general meeting of the Society, held on the third Friday in February (Woodward 1907, pp. 265–7). In 1840 this occurred on 21 February.
On 25 March this letter was read to the Council and it was ‘Resolved that the President, in answering his letter, should request Mr. Darwin to allow his name to remain on the list until the next Anniversary.—’ (Geological Society Archives (CM1/5)).


Woodward, Horace B. 1907. The history of the Geological Society of London. London: Geological Society.


Regrets that state of his health forces him to resign as one of the Secretaries of the Society.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Geological Society of London
Sent from
London, Upper Gower St, 12
Source of text
Geological Society of London (GSL/L/R/5/8 )
Physical description
ALS 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 561,” accessed on 8 December 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 2