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Darwin Correspondence Project

To George Bentham   9 March [1874]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

March 9th.

My dear Mr. Bentham

If you ever attend the Balloting at the Athenæum Club will you be so kind as to give your vote & exert any influence which you properly can, in favour of my nephew, Henry Parker.2 His ballot comes on at the first meeting, on the 16th of the current month.3 He is a fellow of Oriel College,4 & I can assure you that he is a fitting man for election from his abilities, & in every other respect.

Pray believe me | Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin

To | G. Bentham Esq


The year is established by the reference to Henry Parker’s election to the Athenaeum Club, which took place in March 1874 (see Waugh [1888]).
The ballots at the Athenaeum Club were not valid unless twenty members took part (Athenæum: rules and regulations, and list of members, p. 9).
CD originally dated this letter 1 February, evidently thinking that Parker’s ballot might take place early that month; the date on the letter was changed to 9 March when Parker’s ballot was scheduled for 16 March 1874. Elections at the Athenaeum Club took place on Mondays from February to the end of July (Athenæum: rules and regulations, and list of members, p. 9).
Parker had been a fellow of Oriel College, Oxford, from 1851.


Athenæum: rules and regulations, and list of members. London: n.p. 1862.

Waugh, Francis Gledstanes. [1888.] Members of the Athenæum Club, 1824 to 1887. N.p.: privately printed.


Asks GB to support the election of CD’s nephew, Henry Parker, to the Athenaeum Club.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
George Bentham
Sent from
Source of text
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Miscellaneous Correspondence Series)
Physical description
ALS 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9347,” accessed on 24 September 2023,

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