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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Francis Galton   28 May 1872

42 Rutland Gate

May 28th 1872

My dear Darwin

You are indeed most kind & helpful and I joyfully will send the rabbits. But really & truly I must bear every expence to the full & will rely on your groom telling me, at the end,—in addition to his present.1

The rabbits are none of them absolutely recovered, at all events the buck & 1 doe are not, but they will want no further attention in respect to what remains unhealed of their wounds.2 Two of the does are believed to be in kindle having been left with the buck a fortnight & 10 days ago. I will tell Dr. Carter to label and send all particulars with them & to mark their backs with big numerals. in ink.3

The carrier4 should call at University College for them, asking the porter at the gate. I enclose a paper to him.

Once again, with sincere thanks | Ever yrs. | Francis Galton

I have just corrected proofs of a little paper to be shortly read at the Royal Society on “Blood-relationship” in which I try to define what the kinship really is, between parents & their offspring— I will send a copy when I have one; it may interest you.5


Galton was carrying out transfusion experiments on rabbits to test CD’s hypothesis of pangenesis (see Variation 2: 357–404), on the assumption that the units of heredity circulated in the blood (see also Correspondence vol. 19, and Galton 1871).
Charles Henry Carter, curator of the anatomical museum at University College, London, was assisting Galton in his experiments (see Correspondence vol. 19, letter from Francis Galton, 21 November 1871).
George Snow operated a carrier service between Down and London (Freeman 1977).
Galton’s paper read at the Royal Society of London (Galton 1872a) was reprinted in Nature, 27 June 1872, pp. 173–6. There is a copy of the relevant pages from Nature in DAR 205.5: 6–7.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Freeman, Richard Broke. 1977. The works of Charles Darwin: an annotated bibliographical handlist. 2d edition. Folkestone, Kent: William Dawson & Sons. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, Shoe String Press.

Galton, Francis. 1871. Experiments in pangenesis, by breeding from rabbits of a pure variety, into whose circulation blood taken from other varieties had previously been largely transfused. [Read 30 March 1871.] Proceedings of the Royal Society of London 19 (1870–1): 393–410.

Variation: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868.


Delighted CD’s groom will take the rabbits;

has just done proof of a paper to the Royal Society on "blood-relationship", defining kinship between parents and offspring.

Letter details

Letter no.
Francis Galton
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Rutland Gate, 42
Source of text
DAR 105: A59–60
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8357,” accessed on 16 May 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 20