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Darwin Correspondence Project

From W. B. Tegetmeier   12 September 1866

Muswell Hill | London | N

Sept. 12./66

My dear Sir

I have had the blocks cut as you desired and forward proofs.1 One I have returned to the engraver to have a little more shade cut away—

Would you have any objection to sign the enclosed2   I should feel it a high honour to be recommended by you, in conjunction with my friend Mr Flowers.3

If you would kindly return the paper this week it would be ready for the next meeting of the Council4

I send you with this a number of the Field containing a rather graphic account of the habits etc of the Jungle fowl—5

The suggestion that certain breeds are derived from the Sonnerattii are obviously incorrect and I consequently wrote a short reply in the paper of the following week.6

Trusting you are enjoying good health | Believe me | Very truly Yours | W B Tegetmeier

C Darwin Esq


CD had asked Tegetmeier to have alterations made to four of the woodcuts for Variation (see letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 4 August [1866]). The proof copies he sent to CD have not been found, but see Variation 1: 147, 226, 228, and 229 for the illustrations to which he refers.
Tegetmeier evidently enclosed a letter of application for membership in the Zoological Society of London (see letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 14 September [1866]).
The reference is probably to William Henry Flower, who had been on the Council of the Zoological Society of London since 1862 (DNB).
No record of the date of the council meeting has been found, but Tegetmeier did become a member in 1866.
The article was part of a series on Indian birds by an author writing under the name ‘Ornithognomon’ (see the Field, 1 September 1866, p. 183). The author suggested that the domestic fowl showed affinity to two wild species, the common red junglefowl, Gallus ferrugineus (CD used the synonym, G. bankiva; see Variation 1: 226), and the grey junglefowl, G. sonneratii.
Tegetmeier, though not mentioning specific works, cited CD and Edward Blyth to support the view that all varieties of domestic poultry derived from the common junglefowl (see Field, 8 September 1866, p. 191). In 1865, CD had compared the feathers of Gallus sonneratii with those of some domestic breeds as part of his investigation into the ancestry of domestic breeds (see Corrrespondence vol. 13, letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 27 February [1865] and n. 5). See also letter from W. B. Tegetmeier, [after 4 August 1866] and n. 9.


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.

Variation: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868.


Has had the blocks cut as requested and forwards the proofs.

Encloses article on habits of jungle fowl.

Letter details

Letter no.
William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Muswell Hill
Source of text
DAR 178: 75
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5211,” accessed on 28 July 2021,

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