skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To Rowland Hill   6 January 18511

Here is the apteryx in three positions, resting on his beak, wading in a great pool, and running forth in quest of cockroaches or bugs or anything else he can catch. I send it for your amusement2


The date is taken from the sale catalogue. According to the catalogue, the letter is written on paper with the letterhead of the Zoological Society of London.
Rowland Hill collected both living and dead specimens of animals and birds. He lived in Shropshire, and was acquainted with CD’s friend Thomas Campbell Eyton (Correspondence vol. 1, letter from T. C. Eyton, 12 November 1833). Apteryx is the kiwi bird; CD had referred to Apteryx in Journal of researches 2d ed., p. 200. Three small sketches appear at the head of the letter; however, it is not possible to reproduce them.


Drawings of the apteryx in three positions.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Rowland Hill, 2d Viscount Hill
Source of text
Sotheby’s, New York (dealers) (2006)
Physical description
1p inc

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1385F,” accessed on 26 October 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 18 (Supplement)