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Darwin Correspondence Project

From W. S. Dallas   27 February 1874

Geological Society, Somerset House. | W.C.

27 February 1874

My dear Sir

I have no doubt that you have heard that it is proposed to establish a “Scientific Societies’ Club” for the convenience especially of the Fellows of Societies located in Burlington House, where the six principal London Societies will in future have their rooms.—1

It is felt by those particularly interested in this matter that it is of the greatest importance to have some names of high repute upon the Committee, which will consist of about 30 members, & I have been commissioned to write to you, to ask you to be kind enough to give us the benefit of your approval of the scheme by allowing us to add your name to the Committee.—2 The object we have in view is to establish a club which shall offer the ordinary conveniences to its members, & at the same time facilitate social intercourse among the members of Scientific Societies, & it is hoped that by the formation of a select library of books of reference in various departments the institution may be rendered exceedingly useful in every way.—

Hoping that you will excuse my troubling you, & (if I am not too bold) that your reply may be a favourable one, I am | My dear Sir | Yours always truly | W. S. Dallas.

C. Darwin Esq


There are references to plans to form a Scientific Societies’ Club in Nature, 12 February 1874, p. 292, Popular Science Review 13 (1874): 77, and John Bull, 4 April 1874, p. 217. Burlington House was occupied by the Royal Society of London, the Linnean Society, and the Chemical Society, who were joined in 1874 by the Geological Society (Horace B. Woodward 1907, p. 248), the Royal Astronomical Society (Dreyer and Turner 1923, p. 186), and the Society of Antiquaries (J. Evans 1956, p. 316). No references have been found to the club after 1874.
No reply to this letter has been found.


Evans, Joan. 1956. A history of the Society of Antiquaries. Oxford: Society of Antiquaries.

Woodward, Horace B. 1907. The history of the Geological Society of London. London: Geological Society.


Asks CD to allow his name to be put on a committee to establish a Scientific Societies Club for the fellows of the six societies that will have rooms in Burlington House.

Letter details

Letter no.
William Sweetland Dallas
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Geological Society
Source of text
DAR 162: 29
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9319,” accessed on 11 July 2020,

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