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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Charles Wyville Thomson   7 October 1870

Strandtown | Belfast

October 7th 1870.

My dear Sir,

As you are probably aware Dr. Allman has been obliged to resign the Edinburgh Chair—1 I am a candidate for it and although I have not the honor of your personal acquaintance I cannot refrain from asking you for a few words of recommendation if you think that I am justified in applying for this post in my native town—

I am the more anxious for your sanction of my candidature as my later work has so direct a bearing on the illustration of your views.2

Believe me | My dear Sir | Yours with great respect | Wyville Thomson


George James Allman resigned from his position as professor of natural history at the University of Edinburgh and keeper of the natural history collection of the Edinburgh Museum of Science and Art due to poor health (Swinney 1999, pp. 55–6).
See, for example, Thomson’s work on the embryology and development of echinoderms (C. W. Thomson 1861, 1862, and 1863). See also C. W. Thomson 1869; an inscribed and annotated copy is in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL.


Swinney, Geoffrey N. 1999. A natural history collection in transition; Wyville Thomson and the relationship between the University of Edinburgh and the Edinburgh Museum of Science and Art. Journal of the History of Collections 11: 51–70.

Thomson, Charles Wyville. 1861. On the embryology of Asteracanthion violaceus (L.). Quarterly Journal of Microscopical Science n.s. 1: 99–108.

Thomson, Charles Wyville. 1869. The depths of the sea. [Read 10 April 1869.] Journal of the Royal Dublin Society 5 (1870): 316–26.


Seeks CD’s support as a candidate for Edinburgh Chair in Natural History.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Wyville Thomson
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Strandtown, Belfast
Source of text
DAR 178: 113
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7336,” accessed on 14 July 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 18