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Darwin Correspondence Project

From George Grey1   10 May 1846

Govt. House. Auckland. New Zealand.

May 10th. 1846.

My dear Sir.

The enclosed note which I believe bears your signature, having been mysteriously sent to me (by whom & for what purpose remains unexplained) I have thought it proper to mention the circumstance to you and at the same time to return the note.2

I ought perhaps to apologize for having read it, but it was so folded that my own name first caught my eye—and I concluded therefore that it had been sent to me with the intention that I should peruse it—3

Believe me my dear Sir. | faithfully yours. | G. Grey. Charles Darwin Esq. | &c. &c. &c.


Grey was Robert FitzRoy’s successor as governor of New Zealand.
John Lort Stokes and CD decided that the note had become mixed in with the proof-sheets of Stokes 1846 and sent to the printers by mistake, from whence it was forwarded to Grey by someone unknown, see CD’s letter to J. L. Stokes, [c. 26 November 1846]. See also letters to George Grey, 10 November 1846, and to Robert FitzRoy, 23 November [1846]. CD refers to the incident again in Correspondence vol. 4, letter to George Grey, 13 November 1847.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Stokes, John Lort. 1846. Discoveries in Australia. 2 vols. London: T. & W. Boone.


Returns letter from CD to J. L. Stokes [see 940 and 1030].

Letter details

Letter no.
George Grey
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 144: 121c
Physical description
C 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 979,” accessed on 12 June 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 3