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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Robert Swinhoe   9 February 1874

33 Carlyle Square | SW.

9 February. 1874.

My dear Mr. Darwin,

I sent my Certificate for the Royal Society to Professor Newton for his signature of recommendation1   He has signed and returned it, but writes at the same time as follows: “are you not transgressing the usual etiquette in yourself soliciting signatures?. I have always understood that candidates for the R.S. left that task to their Godfather, and I should advise you (if I may be allowed to do so) to consult Darwin in the matter. In my own case it certainly was so, and I never even saw my certificate, or knew who had signed it until after it had been read and suspended in the meeting room.”

I would much like your opinion in the matter; though I would like to note, that when I asked you to propose me, I had no intention of giving you so much trouble.

Your’s very truly, | Robert Swinhoe.


Swinhoe had evidently asked CD to propose him as a fellow of the Royal Society of London. Alfred Newton had himself been elected in 1870. Swinhoe’s candidacy was announced at the meeting of 5 March 1874 (Proceedings of the Royal Society of London 22 (1873–4): 228), but he was not elected until 1876. (Record of the Royal Society of London.)


Matters of etiquette concerning his certificate for the Royal Society.

Letter details

Letter no.
Robert Swinhoe
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Carlyle Square, 33
Source of text
DAR 177: 338
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9277,” accessed on 27 January 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 22