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Darwin Correspondence Project

From S. M. Shepley to ?1   22 May 1873

24 Park Square, | Regents Park. N.W.

22d May/73

My dear friend,

Dr. Hofmann begs me to forward the enclosed to Mr Darwin, he not having the exact address & being anxious it shd. reach him without delay.2 You will see it is an invitation from a provisional Committee of the Berlin Cheml. Socy to join a General Comee. for a Statue to Liebig’s memory—3   I see in a part-list Dr. H. sends me of 71 names already on the Commee. but few English as yet. Frankland Williamson, DeLaRue, Stenhouse—& I have papers to send to Profr Playfair Sir B. Brodie & Dr Henry,4 whose addresses Dr. H. has not—his own is 10 Dorotheen Strasse Berlin—

He grieves at the loss of a dear friend in Liebig as well as of a most revered & admired master & his whole heart I know goes with the address with which he opened the last meeting of the Cheml. Socy, the 28th. April.5 Will you give his very kind regards & mine to Mr Darwin with the paper— I sent you a word of thanks & satisfaction about Miss Meek thro’ dear Elizth.6

My kind love to her & yourself & believe me your sincerely affectionate | S. M. Shepley


The recipient is unknown. It is unlikely to be a member of the Darwin family, or Shipley would have known that CD lived in Down.
August Wilhelm von Hofmann’s late wife, Rosamond Margaret Jane Wilson, was Shepley’s niece.
Hofmann was professor of chemistry at Berlin University and a founder, in 1868, of the Berlin Chemical Society; he had been a student of the chemist Justus von Liebig at the University of Giessen. Liebig had died on 18 April 1873. The invitation to CD has not been found, but CD’s Account books–cash account (Down House MS) records that on 23 May 1873 he sent £5 to ‘Hofman for Liebig Testimonial’. A statue of Liebig was erected in Giessen in 1890 (see Brock 1997, pp. 329–30).
Shepley refers to the chemists Edward Frankland, Alexander William Williamson, Warren De la Rue, John Stenhouse, Lyon Playfair, Benjamin Collins Brodie, and Charles Henry.
Hofmann’s eulogy of Liebig was published in the Berichte der Deutschen chemischen Gesellschaft zu Berlin (Hofmann 1873).
Miss Meek and Elizabeth have not been identified.


Brock, William Hodson. 1997. Justus von Liebig: the chemical gatekeeper. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Asks that recipient forward the enclosed message from Dr Hoffmann [August Wilhelm von Hofmann?] which involves an invitation from Berlin Chemical Society to join a committee for a statue in memory of Justus Liebig.

Letter details

Letter no.
Susannah Mary Shepley
Sent from
London, Park Square, 24
Source of text
DAR 177: 156
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8918,” accessed on 26 January 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 21