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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Henry Denny   20 January [1844]

Down near Bromley | Kent

Jan. 20th.—

Dear Sir

It would give me great pleasure to assist you in your valuable scientific labours.—1

I cannot remember whether I collected many lice; I think I did some; but part of my collection was lost & from ill-health & my extreme wish to finish one part of my materials (viz Geology) has prevented me for a long time going through my zoological collection.— I intend, however, doing this soon; & you may rely on it, that I will put on one side, everything I find, which is in your department, & will then communicate with you.—2 I fear the result will be small, if any.—

Everything I collected was properly ticketed & if you ask Mr. Waterhouse,3 I think he can tell you (if the specimens came from me) at least what country, & I shd think the specimens wd have had a separate number, which wd tell the bird, by reference to me.—

With my best wishes for your success.— Believe me | Yours very faithfully | C. Darwin


Denny had been approached by a British Association for the Advancement of Science committee, consisting of William Jardine, William Yarrell, and Edwin Lankester, to help in preparing a report on the exotic species of Anoplura. Denny later recorded that he wrote to several naturalists for assistance and specimens. His illustrations were exhibited at the British Association meeting in York in September 1844 (Report of the 14th meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science held at York in 1844, p. 392).
CD sorted his collections in July 1844 and provided Denny with specimens. See ‘Journal’ (Correspondence vol. 3, Appendix II) and letter to Henry Denny, 12 August [1844].
George Robert Waterhouse, who described part of CD’s entomological collection from the Beagle voyage.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.


Discusses sending HD lice specimens. Asks him to check with G. R. Waterhouse.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Henry Denny
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.37)
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 731,” accessed on 30 September 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 3