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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Eliza Meteyard   16 November [1865]

Down Bromley | Kent

Nov. 16

My dear Madam

The Editor of the Autographic Mirror has applied to me for a specimen of the handwriting of Dr Erasmus Darwin & I shd be glad to oblige him.1 It ought to be a moderately long note signed with his name & if possible possessing some sort of interest or as little dull as possible.

Will you have the kindness to see if you can find such a note among the letters & send it me or even two or three to choose from, & they shall be returned to you if required.2

Hoping that you will excuse my giving you this trouble I beg leave to remain | My dear Madam | yours very faithfully | Charles Darwin


CD had sent Meteyard letters from his paternal grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, to his maternal grandfather, Josiah Wedgwood I, for use in Meteyard 1865–6 (see letter from Eliza Meteyard, 25 April 1865 and n. 4, and Supplement, letter to Hurst and Blackett, 15 November [1863] and n. 3). The letter from Erasmus Darwin to Josiah Wedgwood I, 27 April 1766, was reproduced in the Autographic Mirror (L’Autograph Cosmopolite); this letter is quoted in Meteyard 1865–6, 1: 436.


Meteyard, Eliza. 1865–6. The life of Josiah Wedgwood from his private correspondence and family papers … with an introductory sketch of the art of pottery in England. 2 vols. London: Hurst & Blackett.


Asks her to send some specimens of Dr Erasmus Darwin’s handwriting for the Autographic Mirror.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Eliza Meteyard
Sent from
NO 16 65
Source of text
Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4936,” accessed on 24 January 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 13