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Darwin Correspondence Project

From W. H. M. Christie   12 October 1874

Royal Observatory, Greenwich, | London, S.E.

1874 Oct. 12


The Astronomer Royal requests me to inform you that a telegram has just been received announcing the arrival of the “Merope” at Canterbury, but that no date was mentioned.1

I am, Sir | Yours faithfully | W. H. M. Christie

C. Darwin Esqre F.R.S. | &c &c


The expedition to observe the transit of Venus was on board the Merope, which had arrived at Lyttelton, near Christchurch, Canterbury province, New Zealand, on 27 September 1874 (Airy ed. 1881, p. 483; letter from Leonard Darwin to Emma Darwin, [after 26 June – 28 September 1874]). CD’s son Leonard joined the expedition in Plymouth in June 1874 (see letter from Emma Darwin to J. B. Innes, 24 June [1874]). The astronomer royal was George Biddell Airy; for more on the expedition, see G. B. Airy ed. 1881.


Announces arrival of the Merope [Leonard Darwin’s ship] at Canterbury, New Zealand.

Letter details

Letter no.
William Henry Mahoney Christie
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Royal Observatory, Greenwich
Source of text
DAR 161: 147
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9677,” accessed on 18 January 2022,

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