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Darwin Correspondence Project

To James de Carle Sowerby   21 January [1851]

Down Farnborough Kent

Jan 21st

My dear Sir

I am much pleased with the Plates.—1 You will at first think the Corrigenda heavy, but 45s of them require a mere touch of your graver: I think I have made clear my instructions, & have tryed to write well.— I send back a very few drawings, & 3 specimens in tin-box by Post with this.— Only one figure will require a weighty alteration, viz P. rigidus.2 Nevertheless, I hope that you will loook over your Figures carefully for I saw a good many little blemishes; & the Plate is not very clean.—

The few reversed figures are unfortunate.—

Will you oblige me by sending me a duplicate copy of Plate II with my lettering copied on it.—3

Please copy correctly on Plate all my figures & Letters, as they stand.

Please observe that I must have all these first copies & my Corrigenda notes returned when you send me the Revised Plates.—

Allow me to earnestly beg you to save me further anxiety & let me have the 5 revises pretty soon.—4

At same time, please let me know what I owe you for the drawings of some of the figures;5 making these must have saved you some trouble, I hope, in the Engraving. I cannot say how I rejoice at the immediate prospect of finishing this job, & returning the specimens to the owners.

Your’s Sincerely | C. Darwin


Sowerby, artist to the Palaeontographical Society, was preparing the plates for Fossil Cirripedia (1851).
Fossil Cirripedia (1851): Tab. II, the second of two plates devoted to species of Scalpellum.
For CD’s earlier complaints about Sowerby’s dilatoriness, see Correspondence vol. 4, letters to J. de C. Sowerby.
In Correspondence vol. 4, letter to J. de C. Sowerby, 10 September [1850], CD instructed Sowerby to keep a record of extra work not properly chargeable to the Palaeontographical Society. However, CD’s Account book (Down House MS) has no record of any payments to J. de C. Sowerby. See also letter to J. de C. Sowerby, 19 February [1851], which indicates that Sowerby did not request payment.


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

Fossil Cirripedia (1851): A monograph on the fossil Lepadidæ, or, pedunculated cirripedes of Great Britain. By Charles Darwin. London: Palaeontographical Society. 1851.


CD is pleased with plates [for Fossil Cirripedia (Lepadidae)]; most corrections need only a touch. Requests revises soon and asks how much he owes.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
James de Carle Sowerby
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.)
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1386,” accessed on 13 September 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 5