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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Robert Swinhoe   14 January 1874

33 Carlyle Sqr. | SW.

14 January, 1874

My dear Mr. Darwin,

You may not have heard that I have returned to England; but I was driven to it to seek a cure from a paralytic affection of the back and lower limbs, which rendered me next to useless in China—1 While at home I wish to stand for the Royal Society and I would esteem it a great favour if you would do me the honour to propose me as a fellow. I think I shall be able to get five other fellows to endorse your recommendation.2  I would come to see you, but the Doctor will not let me leave the room, where I have to pass the greater part of the day on a couch before the fire. I have brought home a glorious pair of Japanese Storks, now living in the Zoo. Gardens.3 They are much larger than their allies of Europe & America, with a strange affinity for the latter. You must see them. I hope you continue well.

With kind regards, | Your’s very truly, | Robert Swinhoe.


Swinhoe began to suffer from paralysis in 1867; his health continued to decline and he permanently returned to London from his diplomatic posting in Chefoo (now Yantai) in October 1875 (ODNB).
Swinhoe was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of London on 1 June 1876. CD proposed him on 3 March 1874 along with (in order of signing) John Edward Gray, Albert Günther, Philip Lutley Sclater, Arthur Hay (Viscount Walden), John Lubbock, Alfred Newton, Thomas Spencer Cobbold, Henry Baker Tristram, George Busk, and William Henry Flower. (Royal Society Archives EC/1876/18.)
The Japanese or oriental stork (Ciconia boyciana) was described by Swinhoe in 1873; these two were presented to the Zoological Society of London in January 1874 (Swinhoe 1873; Morning Post, 23 January 1874, p. 6).


Wants CD to propose him for the Royal Society.

Letter details

Letter no.
Robert Swinhoe
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Carlyle Square, 33
Source of text
DAR 177: 337
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9242,” accessed on 26 September 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 24 (Supplement)