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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Francis Darwin   [before 8 May 1869]1

Union Society Cambridge

My dear Father

I find what I have to pay for lectures is 3 guineas for a course of Humphrey—2 for Newton & 1 for Babington, 1 for Chemistry, 7 guineas in all2   I wasnt marked in Humphreys but he says he will give me the certificate as I went regularly. I shall not do any hospital work yet, as I find mathematics pretty nearly enough.3 I forget whether you want the question about the vermiform appendage asked, & if so what is it4

Your affec son | F Darwin


The date is established by the reference to the payment for lectures (see n. 2, below).
George Murray Humphry was professor of human anatomy at Cambridge; Alfred Newton was professor of zoology and comparative anatomy; Charles Cardale Babington was professor of botany. CD recorded a payment to Francis of £7 7s. (i.e. 7 guineas) on 8 May 1869 in his Classed account books (Down House MS).
Francis was working towards a degree in natural sciences at Cambridge, following which he planned to study medicine at St George’s Hospital, London (ODNB). According to university regulations at the time, candidates obtaining honours in the mathematical or classical tripos could be admitted to the examination in natural sciences in the following Michaelmas (autumn) term. Francis sat examinations for the mathematical tripos in January 1870 and for the natural sciences tripos in December 1870 (Cambridge University calendar 1870, 1871).
Vermiform appendage: appendix. In Descent 1: 27–8, in a discussion of rudimentary organs, CD noted that small hard bodies such as seeds could cause inflammation in the vermiform appendage and even result in death.


Reports what he must pay for university courses. Forgets what CD wants to know about vermiform appendage.

Letter details

Letter no.
Francis Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 274.1: 12
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6519F,” accessed on 9 June 2023,

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