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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. D. Fox    [3 July 1829]



My dear Fox

I should have written to you before, only that whilst our expedition lasted I was too much engaged, & the conclusion was so unfortunate, that I was too unhappy to write to you. this weeks quiet at home, & the thoughts of Woodhouse next week has at last given me courage to relate my unfortunate case.—

I started from this place about a fortnight ago to take an Entomological trip with Mr Hope through all North Wales: & Barmouth was our first destination. the two first days I went on pretty well, taking several good insects, but for the rest of that week, my lips became suddenly so bad, & I myself not very well, that I was unable to leave the room, & on the Monday I retreated with grief & sorrow back again to Shrewsbury. The two first days I took some good insects, Cillenum latterale, (Stephens,1 16th. No) Heterocerus 2. species. Calathus latus, (bad specimen of), & crocopus: Opatrum tibiale: Cerambyx nebulosus: & many others: But the days that I unable to go out, Mr. Hope did wonders several rare species, of the genera Helobia, Carabus, Omaseus, Elater Nothiophilus, & to day I have received another parcel of insects from him, such Colymbetes, such Carabi, & such magnificent Elaters, (2 species of the bright scarlet sort). I am sure you will properly sympathise with my unfortunate situation; I am determined I will go over the same ground that he does before Autumn comes, & if working hard will procure insects I will bring home a glorious stock.—

It is so long a time since I have heard from you, that I am very anxious to receive a letter I want to know what you have been doing lately, & what your plans are for the rest of the summer. Catherine wants to know whether Mrs. Fox & Julia are returned to Osmaston? I am most dreadfully stupid here, so you must excuse this equally stupid letter. I hope you will write soon, & then I will promise to write a longer one.—

Catherine sends her kind ⁠⟨⁠remem⁠⟩⁠brances to you & the rest of your family, in which I beg leave to join & believe me My dear Fox, Yours most sincerely, | Chas. Darwin

I hope the boxes have arrived safe: keep an account of how much money I am indebted to you, as I have already forgotten

I forgot to tell you, that my Father has got two Martens, I believe both species, ready mounted at Mr. Shaws, & I have got a dundiver, which can be sent anytime you like


Stephens 1827–46, Mandibulata. Cillenium laterale is described in the issue of 1 July 1828 (vol. 2: 4); in the bound volumes at the Cambridge University Library the issues are not numbered. Of the eleven volumes, only volumes one and two of Haustellata are preserved in one bound volume at Darwin Library–CUL. CD’s annotations are not numerous; they consist mainly of adding common names or colour identifications to the descriptions.


CD started on an entomology trip through N. Wales with F. W. Hope, but after two days his lips became bad, and he was unwell; had to return home. Took some good insects in the two days, but Hope "did wonders". CD is determined to retrace Hope’s tour before autumn.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Darwin Fox
Sent from
Shrewsbury JY 4 1829
Source of text
Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 17)
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 67,” accessed on 13 July 2024,

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