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Darwin Correspondence Project

To G. R. Waterhouse   [4 or 11 September 1842]

12 Up. Gower St


My dear Waterhouse

I really can hardly express how much obliged I am to you for the shamefully great amount of trouble you have taken for me, and for my nephew,1 to whom, I am sure, the collection will give infinite pleasure. My cabinet must have cost you a very great deal of trouble.— And the book on bees too!

Thank you also for the feather for my Father.—

I am in a terrible state of bustle, but the work & excitement hitherto has given me the strength of a giant.—

You know you have a few Coleopt: of mine to name—2 And at some future time, one more empty case (as the one you have sent goes to my nephew). The case might be sent, any time when ready & directed to the Athenæum Club.

Gray3 was asking me not to forget Brit. Mus. in distributing my insects— it is entirely in your hands so I pass on the memento to you.—

With many thanks | my dear Waterhouse | Most truly Yours | C. Darwin


One of the four sons of CD’s sister Marianne Parker. At this time they were aged 17 (Robert), 15 (Henry, Jr), 13 (Francis), and 10 (Charles).
Waterhouse had described most of the beetles of the Beagle voyage in a series of articles published between 1837 and 1842. Two additional descriptive articles appeared in 1843 and 1845 and Waterhouse’s son, Frederick Herschel Waterhouse, described further specimens undetermined by his father (‘Descriptions of new Coleoptera of geographical interest collected by Charles Darwin, Esq.’, Journal of the Linnean Society of London (Zoology) 14 (1879): 530–4).
John Edward Gray. The reference to the British Museum suggests that Waterhouse was still at the Zoological Society. He was appointed assistant in the Mineralogical Department at the British Museum in 1843.


Waterhouse, George Robert. 1837–40a. Descriptions of some new species of exotic insects. [Read 5 December 1836.] Transactions of the Entomological Society of London 2: 188-96.

Waterhouse, George Robert. 1837–40b. Descriptions of some of the insects brought to this country by C. Darwin, Esq. [Read 2 January 1837.] Transactions of the Entomological Society of London 2: 131–5.

Waterhouse, George Robert. 1843. Observations on the classification of the Mammalia. Annals and Magazine of Natural History 12: 399–412.

Waterhouse, George Robert. 1845a. Descriptions of coleopterous insects collected by Charles Darwin, Esq., in the Galapagos Islands. Annals and Magazine of Natural History 16: 19–41.


Thanks GRW for collection [of insects] he has made up for CD’s nephew.

Leaves decision to GRW as to which institutions should receive CD’s Beagle insects.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
George Robert Waterhouse
Sent from
London, Upper Gower St, 12
Source of text
Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 641,” accessed on 30 March 2023,

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