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To a member of Downing College, Cambridge   [19 January 1837]


Declines invitation to dine at Downing College because of influenza.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Unidentified
Date:  [19 Jan 1837]
Classmark:  DAR 204: 142v
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-342

From J. S. Henslow   [5 November 1837 – March 1838]


Fragment glued to CD’s notes on rock specimens. The recto refers to one of CD’s specimens, the verso mentions his Keeling Island plants.

Author:  John Stevens Henslow
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [5 Nov 1837 – Mar 1838]
Classmark:  DAR 39: 88a
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-338

To John Maurice Herbert   [1 January 1837]


Enjoyed the merry evening with JMH.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Maurice Herbert
Date:  [1 Jan 1837]
Classmark:  Natural History Museum
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-339

From Fanny Myddelton Biddulph   14 January 1837


Apologises for delay in thanking him for the flowers. Has been too unwell to write.

Author:  Fanny Myddelton Biddulph
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  14 Jan 1837
Classmark:  DAR 204: 57
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-340

From Charles Lyell   13 February 1837


"I could think of nothing for days after your lesson on coral reefs, but of the top of submerged continents. It is all true, but do not flatter youself that you will be believed, till you are growing bald, like me, with hard work & vexation at the incredulity in the world."

Author:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  13 Feb 1837
Classmark:  Kinnordy MS (private collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-343

To William Whewell   [10 March 1837]


CD seeks to decline the Secretaryship [of the Geological Society] by citing his obligation to FitzRoy to write his volume of the narrative of their expedition. His youth, inexperience, and ignorance of English geology.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Whewell
Date:  [10 Mar 1837]
Classmark:  Trinity College, Cambridge (Add c 88: 2)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-347

To William Darwin Fox   [12 March 1837]


Finished going over his geological specimens at Cambridge, and is now in London.

Describes his plans for writing the journal, and later the geology and zoology of the Beagle voyage.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  [12 Mar 1837]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 51)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-348

To Charles Babbage   [14 March 1837 – 31 December 1838]


Would have had great pleasure in accepting CB’s invitation, "whether for beauty or for shells", but has another engagement.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Babbage
Date:  [14 Mar 1837–31 Dec 1838]
Classmark:  British Library (Add MS 37190: 326)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-349

To the Geological Society of London   27 March 1837


Recommends David Williams’ paper on raised beaches of Devon [David Williams, "Letter … on the raised beaches of Barnstaple", Trans. Geol. Soc. Lond. 2d ser. 5 (1840): 287–8] be shortened and published immediately after Sedgwick’s and Murchison’s paper ["Description of a raised beach in Barnstaple", ibid., pp. 279–86] as chief point of paper is to support their conclusions.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Geological Society of London
Date:  27 Mar 1837
Classmark:  Geological Society of London (GSL/COM/P/4/2/216)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-352

To John Stevens Henslow   28 March [1837]


Publication plans for the account of the Beagle expedition – CD to have the third volume for his journal.

News of naturalists and their interest in his specimens. Queries about plant specimens, including one on whether seeds from Keeling Island would endure salt water.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  28 Mar [1837]
Classmark:  Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew: Henslow letters: 34
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-353

To J. S. Henslow   18 [May 1837]


Plans to apply to Government for assistance with publishing Zoology.

Robert Brown has taken an interest in the fossil woods.

CD is at work on his journal. Has not begun his geology yet. Has seen much of Lyell.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  18 [May 1837]
Classmark:  Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew: Henslow letters: 35
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-355

To J. S. Henslow   [28 May 1837]


CD to read paper on formation of coral islands at Geological Society. Lyell seems prepared to give up [his view].

Publication of the Narrative is now definite. Feels he should have published journal after the geology and zoology of the voyage.

Robert Brown, as well as JSH, is interested in edible fungi from Tierra del Fuego.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  [28 May 1837]
Classmark:  Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew: Henslow letters: 36
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-356

To John Lort Stokes   [after 31 May 1837]


Asks JLS: "Are there masses of coral or beds of shells some yards above high water mark, on the coast fronting the barrier reef?" [In reference to JLS’s proposed exploration of Australian coasts and rivers.]

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Lort Stokes
Date:  [after 31 May 1837]
Classmark:  Stokes 1846, 1: 331
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-356F

To Charles Babbage   [June–September 1837]


At Lyell’s request sends his copy of Whewell’s History of inductive sciences [1837] to CB.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Babbage
Date:  [June – Sept 1837]
Classmark:  British Library (Add MS 37190: 322)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-358

To William Buckland   [15 June 1837]


Describes the two species of lizard [Amblyrhynchus] found in the Galapagos Archipelago.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Buckland
Date:  [15 June 1837]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-359

To Francis Beaufort   16 June 1837


CD wants to request the assistance of Government to support the expense of the numerous engravings necessary for the publication of the results of the extensive collections in various departments of Natural History during the Beagle voyage. To what quarter should he apply?

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Francis Beaufort
Date:  16 June 1837
Classmark:  The National Archives (TNA) (T1/4524 paper 25824)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-360A

To William Whewell   18 June [1837]


Asks Whewell questions on earthquake wave action.

Thanks him for signature [to CD’s request to Chancellor of the Exchequer for funds for Zoology].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Whewell
Date:  18 June [1837]
Classmark:  Trinity College, Cambridge (Add c 88: 3)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-361

To J. S. Henslow   [20 June 1837]


Upon the advice of Captain Beaufort and with embarrassment to himself CD asks JSH whether he would be perfectly willing personally to take the letter requesting government assistance directly to Thomas Spring Rice [Chancellor of the Exchequer].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  [20 June 1837]
Classmark:  The National Archives (TNA) (T1/4524 paper 25824)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-361A

To Frederick William Hope   [21 June 1837]


Discusses insect specimens he left with FWH. Asks if he may state on FWH’s authority that a third or a half of the specimens from Sydney and Hobart Town are undescribed – a striking fact, showing imperfect knowledge of the insects in the close neighbourhood of the two Australian capitals.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Frederick William Hope
Date:  [21 June 1837]
Classmark:  Oxford University Museum (Hope Entomological collections)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-362

From Charles Cardale Babington   1 July 1837



Reports on the insect specimens [collected by CD] from Australia, New Zealand, and Tierra del Fuego. Has not completed descriptions.

Author:  Charles Cardale Babington
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  1 July 1837
Classmark:  DAR 29.1: C3
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-363
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