skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To the Royal Society of London1   2 March [1874]2

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

March 2d

My dear Sir

A form of certificate for admission to Royal Soc. to which I had got a lot of signatures has been lost by the Post-office, & I must set to work again & get all the signatures anew!3 Will you therefore be so good as to send me by return of Post a new certificate, & kindly inform me the latest date at which they can be suspended this year4

yours sincerely | Ch. Darwin


The secretaries of the Royal Society of London in 1874 were Thomas Henry Huxley and George Gabriel Stokes; since CD usually addressed Huxley as ‘My dear Huxley’ this letter was probably intended for Stokes, whom CD addressed as ‘My dear Sir’ at least until the end of 1875.
The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Robert Swinhoe, 9 February 1874, and by the form of the printed address, which CD used only until November 1874. Swinhoe was put forward for election as a fellow of the Royal Society twice; he was unsuccessful in 1874, but was elected in 1876 (Record of the Royal Society of London).
Swinhoe had asked CD to propose him as a fellow of the Royal Society (see letter from Robert Swinhoe, 9 February 1874); this involved CD’s obtaining six signatures on a certificate for admission (Record of the Royal Society of London, p. 301; see also letter to H. B. Tristram, 3 March [1874]).
The certificates had to be suspended in the society’s meeting room at the first ordinary meeting in March; the names of all the proposed candidates, including Swinhoe’s, were read out at a meeting on 5 March 1874 (Proceedings of the Royal Society of London 22 (1873–4): 228). Only fifteen candidates, selected by the council of the society in May, would be put forward for election in June (Record of the Royal Society of London, p. 302).


Record of the Royal Society of London: The record of the Royal Society of London for the promotion of natural knowledge. 4th edition. London: Royal Society. 1940.


A certificate for admission [of Robert Swinhoe] to Royal Society with many signatures has been lost by the Post Office. Asks for another so he can get the signatures anew.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Royal Society of London
Sent from
Source of text
Cleveland Health Sciences Library (Robert M. Stecher collection)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9329,” accessed on 26 November 2020,

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