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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Charles Stokes    [January–March 1842]1

12 Upper Gower St

Wednesday Evening

Dear Stokes

I return you your snuff box with many thanks.— I assure you I have been & continue to be worthy of your munificence in your choice, if enjoying it can make me so.—

I send my dear old antique microscope with a memorandum within for Mr. Powell of the points, which it appears to me it wants repairing.—2 If you would put this into train I should be very much obliged.—

I send my corals,3 wh. you can leave just as they are till we meet on Sunday, ifI hear from you that day will suit.—if not I will get you to appoint some other time

Believe me dear Stokes | Yours most truly | C. Darwin


The date range is inferred from an entry in CD’s Account book recording a payment for the repair of his microscope (see n. 2, below).
Probably Sidney Powell, optician at 112 Gray’s Inn Lane (Post Office London directory 1846). According to the cover associated with the letter, Stokes lived at 4 Verulam Buildings, Gray’s Inn. An entry of 5 April 1842 in CD’s Account book (Down House MS) reads: ‘Repair Microscope. Powell 8s’.
Before CD left on the Beagle voyage, Stokes had recommended that he collect Fungia, a genus of stony corals found in shallow water (DAR 29.3: 78). Upon his return, CD sent Stokes notes that he had made on Fungia and on Caryophyllia and Actinia (see Correspondence vol. 2, letter to Charles Stokes, [1839–September 1842]). The corals to which CD refers may be those of Caryophyllia discussed in Coral reefs, p. 84, for in a note CD thanked Stokes for having assisted him in his researches. See also Sloan 1985, pp. 104, 115 n. 35, and 117 n. 53.


Returns snuff box.

Sends a microscope for repair.

Makes appointment to discuss some corals that he is sending.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Charles Stokes
Sent from
London, Upper Gower St, 12
Source of text
DAR 185: 91
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 613A,” accessed on 25 January 2021,

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