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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. B. Innes to Thomas Sellwood Stephens1   [before 5 May 1862]2

J. B Innes.

If you see Darwin will you ask him if he can send me particulars of Tegetmeier’s bee hives.3 I want some improvement on the Scotish common ones. I find Milton who made your straw wooden top one has given up.4 It was the best I had. Send me any particulars you can about hives 〈    〉 want are supplied.

I see Tromer lodge is up for the 27th.5   I fear the title is only such as to entitle the fortunate purchaser to a chancery suit with his Bleak Hall6


Stephens was Innes’s curate at Down from 1859 (Crockford’s 1860), and was left in charge of the parish when Innes moved to Scotland early in 1862.
Dated by the relationship to the letter from J. B. Innes, 5 May [1862].
Innes probably refers to the ‘observation hives’ described by William Bernhard Tegetmeier in a paper he read at the 1858 meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (see Tegetmeier 1858, and Richardson 1916, p. 47). The hives were constructed with ‘each side formed of four parallel plates of glass, with thin strata of air between’, thus preventing heat loss and obviating the need to cover the hives with opaque material; such hives were always open to observation without the risk of disturbing the bees by a sudden admission of light (Tegetmeier 1858, p. 133).
Innes refers to the London tea-dealer and grocer, John Milton (see letter from J. B. Innes, 5 May [1862]).
Tromer Lodge is a property located near Down House. Innes considered purchasing the estate in 1860 (see Correspondence vol. 8, letters to John Innes, 18 July [1860], 6 September [1860], and 28 December [1860]).
A reference to Charles Dickens’s novel Bleak House, published in 1853.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 26 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Richardson, Edmund William. 1916. A veteran naturalist; being the life and work of W. B. Tegetmeier. London: Witherby & Co.


JBI asks Stephens to ask CD to send particulars of Tegetmeier’s beehives.

Letter details

Letter no.
John Brodie Innes
Thomas Sellwood Stephens
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 167: 2
Physical description
2pp inc

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3533,” accessed on 12 December 2019,

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