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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Henry Holland   [3–14] January [1862]1

Brook 〈Street〉

Ja〈  〉

My dear Charles,

Though writing on 〈    〉 subject, I must say a few wor〈ds〉 in expression of my sympathy 〈for〉 Mrs Darwin & yourself, in the loss y〈ou〉 have just sustained.2 I was led to ex〈pect〉 the event as too probable, from the account that had before reached. It must be some comfort to you all, that it should have occurred without any increase of suffering. I shall be anxious now to hear of Mr. Langton.3

My purpose in writing is to speak of Lord Tankerville. I believe him to be at Chillingham, whither I directed my letter, enclosing the papers4

〈I〉 have heard nothing during the 〈    〉 that has since elapsed; as I 〈    〉 to have done   I fear it is too 〈  〉able an explanation, that he 〈  〉dy sent the package, 〈  〉ing to the directions & address given 〈    〉 may be that he is not actually at 〈Chillin〉gham—or that he is waiting an 〈occa〉sion for procuring the object required, 〈    〉 of the wild cattle having been lately killed   It may be again (but I unwillingly admit this idea) that he has taken offence at the Instructions, which were a little downright in their tone, & not perhaps suffy apologetic for the trouble given:5 A Nobleman living a good deal alone, on a property bequeathed to him in very encumbered state, is apt to be somewhat irritable & fastidious. Nevertheless I am not disposed to consider this the cause of delay.

If it be that the package has already been sent, I shall gladly hear of this. If not, I will let you know, when I hear of, or from, Lord Tankerville, or if I see him in Town.

There is another supposition, that my letter may have been lost in transitu but this is not likely.

Let me see you, if you come to London., & believe me your’s ever affly | H Holland


The date range is established by the reference to the death of Charlotte Langton (see n. 2, below), and by the relationship to the letter from Henry Holland, 15 January [1862] and to the letters to Ludwig Rütimeyer, 15 [and 16] January [1862] and 11 February [1862]. See also n. 5, below.
Charlotte Langton, Emma Darwin’s sister, died on 2 January 1862 (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)).
Charles Langton.
The reference is to the sixth earl of Tankerville, Charles Augustus Bennet, whose Chillingham Park estate in Northumberland was home to an ancient breed of cattle (see n. 5, below).
CD had asked Holland, who was an acquaintance of Lord Tankerville’s, to assist him in procuring the skull of one of the Chillingham bulls to send to Ludwig Rütimeyer (see Correspondence vol. 9, letter to Ludwig Rütimeyer, 5 December [1861]). For a discussion of the history of this breed, see Ritvo 1992.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Ritvo, Harriet. 1992. Race, breed, and myths of origin: Chillingham cattle as ancient Britons. Representations 39: 1–22.


Condolences on death of Charlotte Langton [née Wedgwood].

Is waiting to hear from Lord Tankerville [see 3339].

Letter details

Letter no.
Henry Holland
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Brook St
Source of text
DAR 166.2: 238
Physical description
3pp damaged †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3388,” accessed on 28 February 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 10