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Darwin Correspondence Project

To G. G. Stokes   5 February [1868]1

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

Feb 5th

My dear Sir

Many thanks for your very kind congratulations on my son’s success & for your note.2 My book, I fear, is too full of details to be read—3 But I write now partly to say that the K. of Prussia, has conferred on me the “Ord. Boruss. pour le Mérite, Eq.—”, as I see it is entered in your List of Members, as mine ought to be when a new list is printed.—4 As far as I see you do not enter Hon. members of the R. Soc. of Edinburg & Dublin; which Socs. have made me their member.—5

Pray believe me | Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the reference to the award from the king of Prussia (see n. 4, below).
George Howard Darwin was second wrangler at Cambridge in 1868, that is, he was second in the final examination for the mathematical tripos (Cambridge University calendar 1868). An announcement appeared in The Times, 25 January 1868, p. 6. As Lucasian Professor of mathematics at Cambridge, Stokes would have set some of the questions for the examination. Stokes’s letter has not been found.
Variation was published on 30 January 1868 (Freeman 1977).
The Königlich Preussischen Ordens pour le mérite für Wissenschaften und Künste (The Royal Prussian Order of Merit in the Sciences and Arts) was awarded to CD by Wilhelm I, king of Prussia (see Correspondence vol. 16, letter from the Commission générale des Ordres Royaux, 24 January 1868).
CD was elected an honorary fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh on 4 December 1865 (Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 5 (1862–6): 518). He was elected an honorary member in the department of science of the Royal Irish Academy on 16 March 1866 (see Correspondence vol. 14, letter from William Reeves, 10 April 1866).


Thanks for congratulations on Francis Darwin’s success in the tripos examinations at the university of Cambridge.

The king of Prussia has awarded him the order Pour le Mérite für Wissenschaften und Künste.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
George Gabriel Stokes, 1st baronet
Source of text
Heritage Auctions (17–18 October 2013)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5839H,” accessed on 17 June 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 24 (Supplement)