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Darwin Correspondence Project

From C. C. Babington   16 September 1862


16 Sept. 1862

Dear Darwin,

I hope to be able to get seeds of Lythrum hyssopifolium from our Botan. Garden in a few days.1 The Curator2 has undertaken to look for them and I will send them when received.

You know that the British Association is to meet here on Oct 1. next and it would give great pleasure to many of us to see you here at that time.3 Could we have calculated upon your convenience and health allowing you to take the office we should have advised your being placed in the chair of the Sec. of Zool. & Botany.4 But, altho not in the position in which we would have placed you, nevertheless you might perhaps come for a few days as a private member of the Association. We want all eminent Cambridge-men to attend, and amongst these we place C. Darwin in the first class.5

Yours very truly | Charles C. Babington—


Babington was professor of botany at the University of Cambridge. In his letter to Babington of 2 September [1862], CD asked if Babington could obtain seeds of Lythrum hyssopifolia for him.
The curator of the Cambridge University Botanic Garden was James Stratton (Walters 1981).
In 1862, the British Association for the Advancement of Science held its annual meeting in Cambridge during the first week of October.
In the event, the president of Section D of the meeting, encompassing ‘zoology and botany, including physiology’, was Thomas Henry Huxley (Report of the 32d meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, p. xxix).
CD matriculated at Christ’s College, Cambridge, in 1828; he did not compete for honours, but was tenth in the list of candidates for the ordinary BA in January 1831. He was admitted BA in April 1831, and MA in October 1836 (Alum. Cantab., Cambridge University Calendar 1832 and 1837, Pass lists–mathematical examinations 1822–84 (Cambridge University Archives, Exam. L. 6: 178)).


Alum. Cantab.: Alumni Cantabrigienses. A biographical list of all known students, graduates and holders of office at the University of Cambridge, from the earliest times to 1900. Compiled by John Venn and J. A. Venn. 10 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1922–54.

Walters, Stuart Max. 1981. The shaping of Cambridge botany. A short history of whole-plant botany in Cambridge from the time of Ray into the present century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Hopes to have Lythrum hyssopifolium seeds to send soon.

BAAS is meeting in Cambridge and all eminent Cambridge men are wanted present. If his health were reliable, CD would be in chair of Botany and Zoology Section.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Cardale Babington
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 160: 4
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3726,” accessed on 25 September 2020,

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