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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Scott   10 June 1864

Down, Bromley, Kent, S.E.

During the last two years I have carried on an extensive correspondence with Mr John Scott on scientific subjects connected with horticulture, and I have read his published papers.1 From these opportunities I have been strongly impressed with Mr Scott’s remarkable powers of observation, his accuracy, his indomitable perseverance, and his knowledge. During our correspondence I have been struck with his modesty, accompanied with a just reliance on his own judgment. I have had means of knowing that he is singularly disinterested in pecuniary matters, and I would in consequence trust to his probity to any extent.

Charles Darwin, F.R.S.

June 10th, 1864.


CD had offered to write a testimonial to assist Scott in obtaining a position in India (see letter from John Scott, 8 June 1864 and n. 13). CD had corresponded extensively with Scott since November 1862 (see letter to J. D. Hooker, [1 April 1864] and nn. 3–5). He had encouraged Scott on numerous occasions to publish the results of his experiments on hybridity and sterility, many of which had been undertaken at CD’s behest (see, for example, Correspondence vol. 11, letter to John Scott, 12 April [1863] and nn. 4 and 5; see also, this volume, letter to J. D. Hooker, 7 April [1864] and n. 4). Scott’s published papers to date were Scott 1862a–d, 1863a–b, and 1864c. Two other papers (Scott 1864a and b) had been read at the Linnean Society of London, but were not yet published. CD’s copies of Scott 1862a, 1863a, and 1864a–c are in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL.


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


Letter of recommendation stating his high opinion of John Scott.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Scott
Sent from
Source of text
Transactions of the Hawick Archæological Society (1908): 68
Physical description
Adraft 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4528,” accessed on 12 April 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 12