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Darwin Correspondence Project

To the Geological Society of London1   28 March [1840]

12 Upper Gower St

Saturday Morn. | March 28th.—

My dear Sir

I feel that I have no choice in complying with the request of the Council, which you have communicated to me in so very kind a manner, of remaining in the office, which at present I have the honour to hold.— I confess, however, it is with considerable reluctance, that I do this. Since receiving your letter, I have seen Mr Lyell and he tells me, he informed you, and the members of the Council, what I had frequently mentioned to him, the regret I felt at the necessity of tendering my resignation. But, as I had not been able to attend in my place during the last four meetings & saw no early prospect of doing so, and as during the last year I assure you, I have never once attended, without having suffered the next day, I felt that I had no other course to pursue.—

Under the arrangements, you have made, I will certainly attend as often as my health permits, but I beg you will have the kindness to bear in mind, that I am still anxious to resign, should you find anyone to occupy my place, & that I cannot hold the office, which although so honourable to me, I have found very irksome, beyond the next anniversary.—

With thanks for your kind expressions regarding my health. | Believe me | My dear Sir | Your’s very sincerely | Chas. Darwin


On 8 April this letter was read to the Council and CD was recorded as ‘agreeing to hold the Office of Secretary until the next Anniversary.—’ (Geological Society Archives (CM1/5)).


Feels he has no choice but to comply with the request of Council that he remain in office. Is reluctant to do so as his health has caused him to miss meetings and he has never once attended without suffering the next day. Cannot hold office beyond next anniversary meeting.

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/5/56)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 562,” accessed on 28 January 2022,

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