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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Syms Covington   7 October 1843

Down near Bromley, Kent,

October 7, 1843

N.B.—This will be my direction for the rest of my life.

Dear Covington—

Your new ear-trumpet has gone by the ship Sultana; it is enclosed in a box from Messrs. Smith and Elder to their correspondent, Mr. Evans (I suppose, bookseller). I was not able to get it sent sooner. You must accept it as a present from me. I presume you will have to pay a trifle for carriage. I recommend you to take your old one to some skilful tinman, and by the aid of an internal plaister cast I have no doubt he could make them. All that is required is an exact resemblance in form. I should think it would answer for him to make one, & hang it up in his shop with an advertisement. I was glad to get your last letter with so good an account of yourself, and that you had made a will. My health is better since I have lived in the country. I have now three children. I am yet at work with the materials collected during the voyage. My coral-reef little book has been published for a year—the subject on which you copied so much M.S. The Zoology of the voyage of the Beagle is also completed. I have lately heard that the Beagle has arrived safe and sound in the Thames,1 but I have heard no news of any of the officers. Your friends at Shrewsbury often enquire after you. I forget whether I ever you that Mrs. Evans2 is married and that my father has built them a nice little house to live in. Captain Fitz Roy, you will have heard, is gone to New Zealand as Governor. I believe he intended to call at Sydney.

With best wishes for your prosperity, which is sure to follow you if you continue in your old upright prudent course, believe me, yours very faithfully | C. Darwin.


From 1837 to 1843 the Beagle was employed in surveying coastal areas of Australia under the successive commands of John Clements Wickham and John Lort Stokes. For an account of the voyage see Stokes 1846.
Wife of Robert Waring Darwin’s butler at The Mount, Shrewsbury.


Stokes, John Lort. 1846. Discoveries in Australia. 2 vols. London: T. & W. Boone.


A new ear trumpet has been sent to SC as a present.

Sends news of his publications, health, and other developments since SC left for Australia.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Syms Covington
Sent from
Source of text
Sydney Mail, 9 August 1884, p. 254

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 700,” accessed on 18 May 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 2