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Darwin Correspondence Project

From George Busk   1 December 1864

15 Harley St

Dec 1. 1864.

My dear Darwin,

The gratifying opportunity of proposing your name for the Copley Medal having fallen to my lot, I was yesterday called upon to receive it on your behalf.1 I was at the same time requested to convey to you the heartfelt regret of the President2 and of all present that you were unable to attend yourself on the occasion, and more especially for the cause that prevented you.3

I need say how deeply I shared in this regret, & the more so as I am sure you would have been much gratified by the unusually warm & cordial manner in which the announcement of the award of this long due acknowledgment of your deserts was received by the Society.

With my best wishes for your restored health and fervent hope that 〈you〉 may be long able to con〈tinue〉 your admirable labo〈ur〉 & to enjoy the fame 〈you〉 so justly deserve

Believe me to be | Yours very truly | Geo. Busk

C. Darwin Esqr.—

P.S. Falconer has told me that you wish the Medal to be left with your brother,4 & I have accordingly done so.5


As a member of the council of the Royal Society of London, George Busk had proposed CD for the Copley Medal at the meeting of 23 June 1864 (Royal Society, Council minutes, 23 June 1864). Busk received the medal on CD’s behalf at the anniversary meeting on 30 November 1864 (Proceedings of the Royal Society of London 13 (1864): 505). See Appendix IV.
The reference is to Edward Sabine, president of the Royal Society.
Owing to fears of poor health, CD did not attend the 30 November meeting (see letter to Hugh Falconer, 8 November [1864], and letter to J. D. Hooker, 26 November [1864]).
The medal was left with Erasmus Alvey Darwin (see following letter).


Has received CD’s Copley Medal for him. Conveys regrets of Royal Society at his absence.

Letter details

Letter no.
George Busk
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Harley St, 15
Source of text
DAR 160: 379
Physical description
3pp damaged

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4689,” accessed on 21 February 2020,

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