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To W. D. Fox   27 [June 1855]


Several seeds have come up after 65–70 days’ immersion in salt water.

Has now a fine collection of pigeons and intends to cross them systematically.

Needs information on mongrel crosses of animals of all kinds.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  27 [June 1855]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 94)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1704

To J. S. Henslow   27 June [1855]


Asks whether JSH considers Lychnis diurna and L. vespertina species or varieties.

Asks for help with his work on hybrids.

Would like JSH to go over London catalogue of British plants, marking "close species", i.e., those he considers real species but which are very closely allied. Withholds his motive as it might influence the result.

Has found Agrostis with worms in every germen and no stamens on stigma.

Now has 46 kinds of peas all growing together.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  27 June [1855]
Classmark:  DAR 93: A28–A30
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1705

From J. S. Henslow   29 June 1855


Red and white campions: JSH regards them as races, not species; a flesh-coloured intermediate exists.

Author:  John Stevens Henslow
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  29 June 1855
Classmark:  DAR 166: 177
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1706

From Asa Gray   30 June 1855


Sends a list of "close" species from his Manual of botany.

Hopes Hooker or CD will write an essay on species. Discusses some of the difficulties of defining botanical species.

Author:  Asa Gray
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  30 June 1855
Classmark:  DAR 165: 92a
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1707

To J. S. Henslow   2 July [1855]


Sends a list of plants with stamps to pay the Hitcham girls who will collect seeds for him.

Describes his work with seeds in salt water.

For his experiments he would like seeds collected from plants that grow both near Hitcham and in the Azores.

Explains again what JSH should do in marking "close species".

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  2 July [1855]
Classmark:  DAR 93: A31–A35
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1708

From Thomas Carew Hunt   2 July 1855


Answers queries on Azores fauna and flora.

Author:  Thomas Carew Hunt
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  2 July 1855
Classmark:  DAR 166: 282
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1709

To M. J. Berkeley   3 July [1855]


Reports success of seed-soaking experiments. Celery and onion germinate after 85 days’ immersion.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Miles Joseph Berkeley
Date:  3 July [1855]
Classmark:  Shropshire Archives (SA 6001/134/44)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1710

From F. Bashford and Edward Blyth   [after 3 July 1855]


Notes on the interbreeding of different races of silkworm. [Forwarded with explanatory note by Edward Blyth.]

Author:  Frederick Bashford; Edward Blyth
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [after 3 July 1855]
Classmark:  DAR 98: A56
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1690

To J. D. Hooker   5 July [1855]



Has named 35 species of grasses.

Seed-salting continues.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  5 July [1855]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 140
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1711

To J. S. Henslow   7 July [1855]


Thanks JSH for seeds.

Clarifies his request about marking [London] catalogue [of British plants] – JSH is to mark those he thinks really are species, but which are very closely allied to some other species.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  7 July [1855]
Classmark:  DAR 93: A36–A37, A114
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1712

From J. D. Hooker   [8 July 1855]



Australian Leguminosae problem: of 900 species not ten are common to southwest and southeast. No migration; hence either creation or variation.

Himalayan thistles: graded intermediates between large and small English species, "shakes species to their foundations". Similarity of CD’s and his views on species.

Author:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [8 July 1855]
Classmark:  DAR 104: 192–3
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1714

To G. R. Waterhouse   8 July [1855]


Asks GRW if there is any easy systematic work on Lepidoptera for his sons. Considers making out the names from descriptions fine practice for the intellect; mere collecting is idle work.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  George Robert Waterhouse
Date:  8 July [1855]
Classmark:  McGill University Library, Department of Rare Books
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1713

To J. S. Henslow   11 July [1855]


Asks for advice on establishing a control group in his experiments to produce sports and varieties of Lychnis diurna.

Seeks seeds of wild Dianthus for hybridising and producing varieties.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  11 July [1855]
Classmark:  DAR 93: A38–A39
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1716

From H. C. Watson   11 July [1855]


Returns CD’s list of Azores plants with information on the distribution of the species added. Encloses a list, extracted from CD’s list, of those plants common to Europe and the Azores that were probably not introduced by man.

Author:  Hewett Cottrell Watson
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  11 July [1855]
Classmark:  DAR 181: 27
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1715

To J. S. Henslow   14 July [1855]


Sends a list of 22 plants that grow at Hitcham and in the Azores and are, according to H. C. Watson, least likely to have been imported [by man]. Will pay the little girls of Hitcham liberally to collect the seeds for his experiments.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  14 July [1855]
Classmark:  DAR 93: A40–A41, A57
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1718

To J. D. Hooker   14 [July 1855]



CD experiments: sowing seeds in fields; "breaking" seeds’ constitution with coloured light; plant hybridisation. Compiling works on hybridism.

Respect for W. B. Carpenter.

Note on "nectar secreting" to Gardeners’ Chronicle [Collected papers 1: 258–9].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  14 [July 1855]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 141
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1717

To John Lubbock   14 [July 1855]


CD has more specimens of Helix pomatia.

Thanks for Lepidoptera book.

Invites JL to dinner.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Lubbock, 4th baronet and 1st Baron Avebury
Date:  14 [July 1855]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.621)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1831

To J. D. Hooker   18 [July 1855]



Has read a paper, presumably by JDH, using the Madeiran flora to argue against Forbes’s doctrine.

JDH asked how far CD will go in attributing common descent; he intends to show "the facts & arguments for & against the common descent of species of same genus; & then show how far the same arguments tell for or against forms, more & more widely different".

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  18 [July 1855]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 142
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1719

To J. D. Hooker   19 July [1855]



Parcels sent to Down by coach may get lost.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  19 July [1855]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 139
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1722

From Robert Hunt   19 July 1855


Discusses how best to simulate the light at a particular point on the earth’s surface using coloured glass; considers sunlight as composed of three "principles", varying in proportion according to latitude, which affect germination, lignification, and floriation.

Author:  Robert Hunt
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  19 July 1855
Classmark:  DAR 261.11: 17
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1721
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