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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. S. Burdon Sanderson   1 May [1875]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. | Railway Station | Orpington. S.E.R.

May 1st

My dear Sanderson

I am delighted to hear that all your exertions & labour will in all probability be rewarded by success.— I think everyone who has in any way aided has done good work in the cause of Humanity & science.—2

I had a note from L. Playfair, who makes the same criticism as Lubbock did, viz that the Title & Preamble had better wear a more humanitarian aspect.3 Litchfield is coming here, & I will see what he can do & tell you.4

Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin

I have had a civil note of acknowledgement of the bill from Ld. Cardwell.—5


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Edward Cardwell, 29 April 1875.
Burdon Sanderson had worked with CD to gain the support of scientific and political men for the bill to regulate vivisection (see letter from J. S. Burdon Sanderson, 30 April [1875]).
Richard Buckley Litchfield had provided legal assistance in drafting the bill (see letter to R. B. Litchfield, [24 April 1875] and n. 3). He and his wife, CD’s daughter Henrietta Emma, visited Down on 1 May 1875 (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)).


CD is delighted to hear that JSBS’s exertions and labour will probably be rewarded by success. He has had a note from Playfair who, like Lubbock, thinks the title and preamble [of the proposed bill] "had better wear a more humanitarian aspect".

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9963,” accessed on 5 April 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 23