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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Henry Coe   20 October 1858

Asylum— Knowle. | near Fareham. Hants.

20th. Octr. 1858.—


I beg most respectfully to acknowledge the receipt of your favor of the 15th.—

I do not recollect seeing any difference in the pods of the four rows of Negro Bean, had there been I should not have failed in noticing it, particularly after reading your Article in the Chronicle.—1

The Beans in question were not equally mature, but I am satisfied that the difference in colour did not arise from their not being sufficiently or properly ripened—

The plants of 1857 were certainly uniform in foliage &c.—

The dozen pure Black sent to you were grown in 1856 ; most certainly they were not taken out of the crossed lot of 1857.2

Did you plant them with, or in the vicinity of the others?—

The matter is altogether new and somewhat extraordinary and I am truly glad that you feel so great an interest in the subject, for I feel quite assured that an article from your able pen will elicit much information.

With the greatest respect, | I have the honor to be, | Sir, | Your humble servant | Henry Coe. C. Darwin, Esqr. | &c &c.—


Coe refers to CD’s paper on ‘Bees and fertilisation of kidney beans’, published in Gardeners’ Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette , 24 October 1857, p. 725 (Correspondence vol. 6, letter to Gardeners’ Chronicle , 18 October [1857]; Collected papers 1: 275–7). It was this paper that elicited a response from Coe on 4 November 1857, initiating their correspondence on the subject.


Collected papers: The collected papers of Charles Darwin. Edited by Paul H. Barrett. 2 vols. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press. 1977.

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


Further answers on his seed lot.

Letter details

Letter no.
Henry Coe
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Knowle Asylum, Hampshire
Source of text
DAR 161: 197
Physical description
ALS 3pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2346,” accessed on 14 September 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 7