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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. J. Weir   1 July [1869]1

Caerdeon, Barmouth, N. Wales

July 1

My dear Sir

You will see by this address where we are and where we remain all this month. My health got so bad that I could do nothing at Down and we came here for a change of air; but though the views are delightful and air admirable, as yet it has done me no good, and I am fit for nothing.

Very many thanks for your interesting letter. I am glad to have the confirmation of the lamb case and to hear about the insects and Swifts.2 How wonderfully complex the action and reaction of the elements and all organic beings are, and what a fine field for observation.

I have had an answer from Mr. Swaysland of Brighton and he most fully confirms about the males of our migratory Birds; he has never known an instance of the females arriving first.3

Once again let me thank you for your interesting letter, and believe me | My dear Sir | Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin.


The year is established by the address. The Darwins left on 10 June 1869 for Caerdeon, and returned on 31 July (see ‘Journal’ (Correspondence vol. 17, Appendix II)).
See letter from J. J. Weir, June 1869. The section of the letter in which Weir discussed insects and swifts is now missing.


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


"My health got so bad I could do nothing at Down".

Gives information about migration of male and female birds.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Jenner Weir
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 148: 324
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6810,” accessed on 18 January 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 17