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To John Maurice Herbert   [1 January 1837]


Enjoyed the merry evening with JMH.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Maurice Herbert
Date:  [1 Jan 1837]
Classmark:  Natural History Museum (General Special Collections DC AL 1/1)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-339

From Fanny Myddelton Biddulph   14 January 1837


Apologises for delay in thanking him for the flowers. Has been too unwell to write.

Author:  Fanny Myddelton Biddulph
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  14 Jan 1837
Classmark:  DAR 204: 57
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-340

From Emily Catherine Darwin   15 [January 1837]


Morning Herald had an account of CD’s 80 specimens of Mammalia and 450 birds at the Zoological Society.

John Gould has described new species in CD’s Galapagos birds.

Much interest in CD’s "Laurels".

Family news.

Author:  Emily Catherine (Catherine) Darwin; Emily Catherine (Catherine) Langton
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  15 [Jan 1837]
Classmark:  DAR 204: 142
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-341

To a member of Downing College, Cambridge   [19 January 1837]


Declines invitation to dine at Downing College because of influenza.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Unidentified
Date:  [19 Jan 1837]
Classmark:  DAR 204: 142v
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-342

From Charles Lyell   13 February 1837


"I could think of nothing for days after your lesson on coral reefs, but of the top of submerged continents. It is all true, but do not flatter youself that you will be believed, till you are growing bald, like me, with hard work & vexation at the incredulity in the world."

Author:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  13 Feb 1837
Classmark:  Kinnordy MS (private collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-343

From Catherine and Caroline Sarah Darwin   [16 February 1837]


News of family and friends.

Caroline repeats story told to R. W. Darwin of FitzRoy’s feeling of obligation to Captain John White, from whom he gained release to marry Miss O’Brien.

Fanny Biddulph has had a son.

Author:  Emily Catherine (Catherine) Darwin; Emily Catherine (Catherine) Langton; Caroline Sarah Darwin; Caroline Sarah Wedgwood
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [16 Feb 1837]
Classmark:  DAR 204: 143
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-344

From Caroline Darwin   [21 February 1837]


Interested in Lyell’s address [Proc. Geol. Soc. Lond. 2 (1833–8): 479–523]. Asks what the points are on which CD and Lyell are fully agreed.

Inquires about the paper FitzRoy and CD wrote on missionaries ["Moral state of Tahiti" (1836), Collected papers 1: 19–38].

News of family.

Author:  Caroline Sarah Darwin; Caroline Sarah Wedgwood
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [21 Feb 1837]
Classmark:  DAR 204: 141
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-345

To Caroline Darwin   27 February 1837


Has just given a paper [on "Sand tubes"] at Cambridge Philosophical Society and exhibited some specimens. It went well, with Whewell and Sedgwick taking an active part.

Herschel thinks 6000–odd years since the creation not nearly long enough to explain the separations from a single stock.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Caroline Sarah Darwin; Caroline Sarah Wedgwood
Date:  27 Feb 1837
Classmark:  DAR 154: 51
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-346

To William Whewell   [10 March 1837]


CD seeks to decline the Secretaryship [of the Geological Society] by citing his obligation to FitzRoy to write his volume of the narrative of their expedition. His youth, inexperience, and ignorance of English geology.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Whewell
Date:  [10 Mar 1837]
Classmark:  Trinity College, Cambridge (Add c 88: 2)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-347

To William Darwin Fox   [12 March 1837]


Finished going over his geological specimens at Cambridge, and is now in London.

Describes his plans for writing the journal, and later the geology and zoology of the Beagle voyage.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  [12 Mar 1837]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 51)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-348

To Charles Babbage   [14 March 1837 – 31 December 1838]


Would have had great pleasure in accepting CB’s invitation, "whether for beauty or for shells", but has another engagement.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Babbage
Date:  [14 Mar 1837–31 Dec 1838]
Classmark:  British Library (Add MS 37190: 326)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-349

From the Misses Horner   [17 March 1837 – 28 December 1838]


“The Botanists” and “The learned Linguists” give thanks for book and assistance.

Author:  Anne Susanna (Susan) Horner; Leonora Horner; Leonora Pertz; Joanna Baillie Horner; Frances Joanna Horner; Frances Joanna Bunbury; Katharine Murray Horner; Katharine Murray Lyell
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [17 Mar 1837 – 28 Dec 1838]
Classmark:  DAR 94: 1a
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-350

To the Geological Society of London   27 March 1837


Recommends David Williams’ paper on raised beaches of Devon [David Williams, "Letter … on the raised beaches of Barnstaple", Trans. Geol. Soc. Lond. 2d ser. 5 (1840): 287–8] be shortened and published immediately after Sedgwick’s and Murchison’s paper ["Description of a raised beach in Barnstaple", ibid., pp. 279–86] as chief point of paper is to support their conclusions.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Geological Society of London
Date:  27 Mar 1837
Classmark:  Geological Society of London (GSL/COM/P/4/2/216)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-352

To John Stevens Henslow   28 March [1837]


Publication plans for the account of the Beagle expedition – CD to have the third volume for his journal.

News of naturalists and their interest in his specimens. Queries about plant specimens, including one on whether seeds from Keeling Island would endure salt water.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  28 Mar [1837]
Classmark:  Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew: Henslow letters: 34
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-353

To Leonard Jenyns   10 April [1837]


Discusses possibility of publishing the zoology of the voyage of the Beagle. Will need help from more able naturalists. Would LJ object to describing the fishes for such a work rather than for scientific journals? Is working on his Beagle journal.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Leonard Jenyns; Leonard Blomefield
Date:  10 Apr [1837]
Classmark:  Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-354

To William Lonsdale   [May? 1837]


Sends an abstract made by J. F. Royle of CD’s paper ["On certain areas of elevation and subsidence in the Pacific and Indian Oceans"]. G. B. Greenough will have problems with the altered references in the coral island section.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Lonsdale
Date:  [May? 1837]
Classmark:  Geological Society of London (GSL/L/R/3/169)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-383A

To J. S. Henslow   18 [May 1837]


Plans to apply to Government for assistance with publishing Zoology.

Robert Brown has taken an interest in the fossil woods.

CD is at work on his journal. Has not begun his geology yet. Has seen much of Lyell.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  18 [May 1837]
Classmark:  Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew: Henslow letters: 35
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-355

To Caroline Darwin   [19 May – 16 June 1837]


Sends a number of questions (to put to his father), mainly concerned with transmission of diseases, between Europeans and natives, "people packed together", etc.

Is investigating how to get Government support [for Zoology].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Caroline Sarah Darwin; Caroline Sarah Wedgwood
Date:  [19 May – 16 June 1837]
Classmark:  DAR 154: 52
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-360

To J. S. Henslow   [28 May 1837]


CD to read paper on formation of coral islands at Geological Society. Lyell seems prepared to give up [his view].

Publication of the Narrative is now definite. Feels he should have published journal after the geology and zoology of the voyage.

Robert Brown, as well as JSH, is interested in edible fungi from Tierra del Fuego.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  [28 May 1837]
Classmark:  Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew: Henslow letters: 36
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-356

To John Lort Stokes   [after 31 May 1837]


Asks JLS: "Are there masses of coral or beds of shells some yards above high water mark, on the coast fronting the barrier reef?" [In reference to JLS’s proposed exploration of Australian coasts and rivers.]

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Lort Stokes
Date:  [after 31 May 1837]
Classmark:  Stokes 1846, 1: 331
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-356F
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