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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. D. Fox    [18 May 1829]


Monday Morning

My dear Fox

I was exceedingly glad to receive your last letter, as I had been for some time past very anxious to hear how you & the rest of your family were after having undergone such a painful affliction.— I should have written before only I waited to get the Bills you mentioned.— Claytons amounts to 2£"7"10, but Bakers’ has not arrived yet.—

I have procured for you from Polo a beautiful specimen of the Ring Owzel, & gave 5 shillings, also a young male ring tail, with half the plumage blue & half like the female ring tail price 5s.—also 2 fine specimens of the black tern, price 3s.—also a Royston Crow.—

Now being upon Nat: history, I will go on: All the Crysalis you left in the deal Box, I never discovered till too late, & found all the moths utterly destroyed. The Cossus has eat its way out & is lost.—

Aiken1 has got all the skins of your birds: he also had my Crysalis, which go on very well, & to which I have added a great many more.— I have taken, or rather had collected for me vast numbers of insects: a good many new ones to Cambridge, both large & small.— have since Christmas filled nearly three Standish Boxes.—

But Hoare’s success is most brilliant: Carabus intricatus, an insect fit for Paradise; a beautiful Lamprias: Badister cephalotes, & multa alia: My success also has been very good amongst the water beettles. I think I beat Jenyns in Colymbetes.—

I want much to hear what you have done in Entomology? I heard from old Pulleine the other day. he wrote to enquire about you. I told him he had better direct to Osmaston so I daresay before long you will hear from him.

Before I tell you my plans for the next 2 or 3 months, I must most cordially thank you for your very kind invitation to Osmaston. You used accuse me of making speeches about Osmaston. This accusation although proved to be most palpably absurd by the length of my former visit, shall be made doubly so, by the pleasure with which I accept your invitation. On the 5th of next month I go to Shrewsbury, either through London, in order to chaperon home my sisters, or else d⁠⟨⁠  ⁠⟩⁠ through Birmingham. A few days of home, & then I go a three week trip with Mr. Hope either in S or W Wales: after that home again (& Woodhouse & Fanny), then to Maer, & then I hope to have the pleasure, my dear Fox of seeing you again, after our long absence: this till August will fill my time up pretty well.—

As to what I have been & am now doing, the less that is said about it, the better: my time is solely occupied in riding & Entomologizing. Simpson or Hall are both industrious when compared with me. I cannot help thinking what a great deal of good advice I should receive were you but here.— I hope you will write soon & tell me all about every thing: I am sorry, although I think you are very wise in not going into orders at present Your mind at such a time must be very unfit for so serious an undertaking: Make any use of me & my rooms in future arrangements that may please you:

Give my most kind remembrances to your father, & I hope that he & Mrs. Fox are going on pretty well: | Believe me my dear Fox | Yours most sincerely | Chas. Darwin.—


Not identified. He was perhaps a dealer in natural history specimens.


Is getting the information WDF wanted about his bills;

adds some news of entomology.

Accepts invitation to visit Osmaston in August. Plans a June trip to Shrewsbury, a three-week trip in Wales with F. W. Hope.

Is doing nothing but riding and entomology.

Thinks WDF wise to defer going into orders.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Darwin Fox
Sent from
Cambridge MY 18 1829
Source of text
Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 15)
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 64,” accessed on 7 June 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 1