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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. S. Burdon Sanderson   12 April [1875]1

49 Queen Anne St

April 12

Dear Mr Darwin,

I write a line to say that, after seeing Mr. Litchfield this morning (& he was kind enough to call with the copy of the draft bill)2 I went over with it to talk to Mr Simon,3 & told him what it was proposed to do. He made a number of suggestions which I will send to Mr. Litchfield.

Mr Simon thinks that it wd. best promote the object, if you would see Lord Derby yourself & simply ask him to engage Mr Cross not to commit himself.4 For this purpose it would be sufficient merely to let Lord Derby know that such a bill had been prepared & that it had received the concurrence of scientific men, particularly of those interested in Physiology.

Mr Simon thinks that the next step would be to arrange a small Deputation to Mr. Cross, of which Deputation he wd. be glad to be one.

I have received the adhesions of Sir R Christison and Prof Turner5

Believe me ever | yours sincerely | J B Sanderson


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to J. S. Burdon Sanderson, [11 April 1875].
CD and others had prepared a petition to regulate vivisection, and had then drawn up a draft bill with the legal assistance of Richard Buckley Litchfield (see letter to J. S. Burdon Sanderson, [11 April 1875]). A copy of the first sketch of this bill is in DAR 139.17: 21 (see Appendix VI).
John Simon was on the council of the Royal College of Surgeons.
Edward Henry Stanley, the earl of Derby, was foreign secretary; for CD’s connection with Stanley, see letter to J. S. Burdon Sanderson, [11 April 1875] and n. 6. Richard Assheton Cross was home secretary.
Robert Christison was president of the British Medical Association; William Turner was professor of anatomy at the University of Edinburgh.


Discusses the best means of presenting the draft bill about animal experimentation. Suggests that CD inform Lord Derby that scientific men concurred with the bill that had been prepared. [See 9923.]

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9923A,” accessed on 1 October 2023,

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