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Darwin Correspondence Project

From T. H. Huxley   6 July 1866

The Athenaeum

July 6th. 1866

My dear Darwin

If I had got your Memorial signed & sent to ‘My Lords’,1 My Lords would simply have remitted it to the Hydrographer—so as I know Richards & have always found him a pleasant & helpful sort of man—I thought my best course was to go to him at once with your memorial in my pocket.2

I have just done so & find that he knows all about the place having been one of the party who dug up the bones which were obtained at Gallegos3   He thoroughly interests himself in the object of your Memorial (which I have left with him) & promises to give all the requisite instructions to Capt. Mayne.4

Dr Cunningham,5 the Naturalist, is in communication with me & I will see he is properly primed on the same subject

Evil man that you are you say not a word about yourself—so I hope that you are prospering & Mrs. Darwin6 better than she was

Ever | Yours faithfully | T H Huxley


The memorial to the Lords of the Admiralty, enclosed with the letter to Huxley of 4 July [1866], has not been found; a draft of it, dated [2–4 July 1866], is published in this volume.
George Henry Richards was hydrographer to the Admiralty (Modern English biography).
Richards had served as lieutenant on HMS Philomel, and had helped to collect fossil bones of mammals along the Río Gallegos in Patagonia in 1845 (see letter from B. J. Sulivan, 27 June 1866 and nn. 7 and 8).
Richard Charles Mayne was captain of HMS Nassau, which surveyed the Straits of Magellan from 1866 to 1869 (DNB).
Robert Oliver Cunningham.
Emma Darwin.


DNB: Dictionary of national biography. Edited by Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee. 63 vols. and 2 supplements (6 vols.). London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1912. Dictionary of national biography 1912–90. Edited by H. W. C. Davis et al. 9 vols. London: Oxford University Press. 1927–96.

Modern English biography: Modern English biography, containing many thousand concise memoirs of persons who have died since the year 1850. By Frederick Boase. 3 vols. and supplement (3 vols.). Truro, Cornwall: the author. 1892–1921.


Has taken memorial to G. H. Richards, the Hydrographer. He favours the proposal and will instruct Capt. Mayne. THH will communicate with Dr Cunningham, the naturalist for the expedition.

Letter details

Letter no.
Thomas Henry Huxley
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Athenaeum Club
Source of text
DAR 166: 311
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5149,” accessed on 1 June 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 14