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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Edward Cresy   [5 or 12 July 1848]1

Down, Farnborough, Kent

Wednesday Even.

My dear Sir

You could hardly have applied to a worse person than myself to speak to Dr. Buckland,2 for I have a strong prejudice against him and I have no doubt he returns it with compound interest. But I have thought that he would at least believe my word and have accordingly just written him a long letter, telling him what you say and adding a good deal more from my personal knowledge of you and excellent opinion of your abilities. I have written very cautiously on my own part, so that I feel sure my recommendation can do you no harm, and I should be much pleased if it did you any good. I have told him that I have ventured to recommend you to call on him, and I think you had certainly better do so, whether he may or not choose to see you.— Under a coarse joking manner in my opinion he hides a worldly vain disposition; but he is decidedly very good-natured.—3 I can only again say that I heartily hope that you may be successful. I assure you I have expressed strongly my opinion of your high merits.

Believe me | Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin


The two Wednesdays preceding the letter from William Buckland, 15 July 1848.
William Buckland was a member of the newly established Metropolitan Commission of Sewers, which was given responsibility for planning and constructing public works for the whole of the London area outside the City. Cresy was seeking a position as assistant surveyor.
Buckland’s sense of humour was considered coarse and his animated style of lecturing was called ‘undignified buffoonery’ by CD and other ‘earnest Victorians’ (Rupke 1983, p. 7). See also letter to Charles Lyell, [16 June 1848]. For detailed accounts of some of the meetings of the Metropolitan Commission of Sewers, see the London newspaper the Globe, 9 June and 15 July 1848.


Rupke, Nicolaas A. 1983. The great chain of history: William Buckland and the English school of geology (1814–1849). Oxford: Clarendon. [Vols. 4,9]


Has written to William Buckland, recommending EC for position.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Edward Cresy, Jr
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 143: 306
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1188,” accessed on 23 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 4