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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Charles Peter Layard to G. H. K. Thwaites   28 July 1868


28. July. 1868

My dear Mr. Thwaites—

on the subject of the black boned fowl & Dr. Darwin’s enquiries— I now possess five hens, & two cocks wh. have the characteristic Edgar Layard conceived peculiar to the female bird.1

If you require any particular information respecting these fowl please to let me know the questions of Dr Darwin wh you wish me to answer.

Would there be any object in sending some specimens to England? if so—I have no doubt that with Capt Baileys assistance—it might be possible to get them forwarded by one of the O.P.C. steamers to Dr. Darwin.2

Ever Yours truly | Charles P. Layard

I hope you accomplished your tasks in the HaygamQQQQ Corle3 to your satisfaction & that the headmen were useful.

CD annotations

Top of letter: ‘Keep for Domestic animals’4 pencil


See letter to G. H. K. Thwaites, 19 May [1868] and n. 4, and letter from G. H. K. Thwaites, 22 July 1868. Layard refers to Edgar Leopold Layard, who was probably his cousin (Modern English biography, A. H. Layard 1903, 1: 9, 99). This letter was presumably forwarded to CD by Thwaites.
Francis Bayley was the P&O Company’s agent at Galle, Ceylon (Sri Lanka; Roberts 1993).
A ‘Corle’ is a district (Hobson-Jobson).
CD did not add anything to his discussion of black-boned fowls in the second edition of Variation.


Hobson-Jobson: Hobson-Jobson. A glossary of colloquial Anglo-Indian words and phrases, and of kindred terms, etymological, historical, geographical and discursive. By Henry Yule and A. C. Burnell. New edition edited by William Crooke. London: John Murray. 1903.

Layard, Austen Henry. 1903. Autobiography and letters from his childhood until his appointment as H.M. Ambassador at Madrid. Edited by William N. Bruce, with a chapter on his parliamentary career by Arthur Otway. 2 vols. London: John Murray.

Modern English biography: Modern English biography, containing many thousand concise memoirs of persons who have died since the year 1850. By Frederick Boase. 3 vols. and supplement (3 vols.). Truro, Cornwall: the author. 1892–1921.

Roberts, Norah. 1993. Galle as quiet as asleep. [Galle]: the author.


Has black-boned cocks and hens that show the characteristic that Edgar Layard thought peculiar to the female line. Will provide any particulars that CD wants.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Peter Layard
George Henry Kendrick Thwaites
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 86: A91
Physical description
1p †(by CD)

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6295,” accessed on 15 May 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 16