skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. B. Dawkins   16 January [1875]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. | Railway Station | Orpington. S.E.R.

Jan 16th

My dear Sir

I am sorry to say that I can give no more information than that in my Book.2 The words “an early record” are those used by Youatt,3 where he mentions about the 400.— It is where I give it at p. 48 of “Cattle Their Breeds &c. Library of Useful Knowledge 1834.”4 I have generally found Youatt an accurate man, & a very sagacious one, for I knew him personally.— I am very sorry I cannot help you more.—

Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from W. B. Dawkins, 15 January 1875.
Dawkins had asked CD for a reference for a remark CD had made in Variation 1: 85 about the relative size of white and dark cattle (letter from W. B. Dawkins, 15 January 1875).
William Youatt.


Variation: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868.

Youatt, William. 1834. Cattle: their breeds, management, and diseases. London: Baldwin and Cradock.


Can give no more information about white and dark cattle than William Youatt gave in his book on cattle (Youatt 1834).

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Boyd Dawkins
Source of text
Bloomsbury Auctions (dealers) (15 May 2008)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9819F,” accessed on 3 August 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 23