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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Edward Gray   [January 1851]1

My dear Gray

I will be here tomorrow morning at 10 oclock,2 & as I have very much to do will you kindly oblige me by having Spengler on Cirripedia3 (which you once showed me) ready for me.— Also I want to look at the rest of the sessile Cirripedia in the Collection,4 for praise be to Heaven, I have finished Balanus.5 And Lastly could I see Mr. Cocks’ collection?—6

Forgive this trouble | yours


Dated from CD’s reference to having ‘finished Balanus’ (see n. 5, below).
CD recorded the expenses of three trips to London during January and February 1851 (Classed account book (Down House MS)). It has not been possible to identify which trip was the one mentioned in the letter.
CD had requested permission from the trustees of the British Museum to borrow the Cirripedia collections (see Correspondence vol. 4, letter to J. E. Gray, 18 December 1847).
CD’s ‘Journal’ entry for 30 December 1850 reads: ‘finished Balanus & Pachylisma’ (see Correspondence vol. 4, Appendix I).
William Pennington Cocks, Cornish surgeon and collector. Cocks donated a small collection to the British Museum in 1849, which included specimens of Balanus tintinnabulum (see de Beer 1958, p. 93 n.). This species is extremely variable, which is perhaps why CD wished to examine Cocks’s collection (see Living Cirripedia (1854): 196).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Fossil Cirripedia (1854): A monograph of the fossil Balanidæ and Verrucidæ of Great Britain. By Charles Darwin. London: Palaeontographical Society. 1854.

Living Cirripedia (1854): A monograph of the sub-class Cirripedia, with figures of all the species. The Balanidæ (or sessile cirripedes); the Verrucidæ, etc. By Charles Darwin. London: Ray Society. 1854.

Spengler, Lorenz. 1790. Beskrivelse og Oplysning over den hidindtil lidet udarbeidede Slœge af Mangeskallede Konchylier, som Linnæus har kaldet Lepas, med tilsae9niede nye og ubeskrevne Urter. Skrivter af Naturhistorie-Selskabet 1: 158–212.


Is coming tomorrow to see Lorenz Spengler on cirripedes [Auserlesne Schnecken, Muscheln und andre Schaalthiere (1758)] and the remaining sessile cirripedes in the collection. Has finished Balanus.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Edward Gray
Sent from
Source of text
Natural History Museum (Zoology letters 2: 57)
Physical description
AL 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1383,” accessed on 17 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 5