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Darwin Correspondence Project

From George Cupples   8 October 1870

The Cottage, | Guard Bridge | Fifeshire. N.B.

Oct. 8/70.

My Dear Mr Darwin,

I was at any rate keeping the puppy for a little longer, in order to harden and acclimatize him (after weaning) to the change of the season, which is here cold at nights.1 Every day I thought of writing to mention this cause for delay, but did not like to trouble you with such a matter.

I now propose that he shall stay till about the end of the month, after which I will write to tell the day and hour of his arrival at King’s Cross station—giving plenty of time beforehand for any note to the contrary.2 Perhaps we can manage to see him off from Edinburgh ourselves—in which case the proper guard could be seen, otherwise he would go through too many different lines of railway for that. Indeed there is no fear of him in that respect— nor would it be necessary for you to send to meet the hamper, except for the possibility of delay in London.

It is desirable that he should come to his new quarters when very young, in order to get into the habits of the house.3 All he requires is to have warmth at night, plenty of play—and a companion if possible, which I suppose he would find in Miss Darwin’s “Polly”, if Polly is goodnatured.4

I shall send a brief card of dietary &c—to fix up for the servants. He thrives well, in spite of the season.

I am glad to hear of proofs—though truly sorry that they fatigue you. The excursion, I hope, will set this to rights.5

Believe me | Dear Mr Darwin | ever most truly yours | George Cupples

Charles Darwin, Esq r. | Down.


Cupples had promised to send CD a Scottish deer-hound puppy that he had bred (see letter from George Cupples, 17 September 1870).
King’s Cross railway station is a major terminus in north central London.
The puppy was evidently born close to 15 August 1870 (see letter from George Cupples, 20 June 1870).
‘Polly’ was a white rough-haired fox-terrier belonging to Henrietta Emma Darwin (R. B. Freeman 1978).
CD was working on the proof-sheets for Descent; he was to be away from 13 to 20 October 1870 (see ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)). No letter to Cupples with this information has been found.


Descent: The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1871.

Freeman, Richard Broke. 1978. Charles Darwin: a companion. Folkestone, Kent: William Dawson & Sons. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, Shoe String Press.


Delay in sending deerhound puppy.

Letter details

Letter no.
George Cupples
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Guard Bridge
Source of text
DAR 161: 294
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7338,” accessed on 4 March 2021,

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