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Darwin Correspondence Project

To T. H. Huxley   9 October 1851

Down Farnborough Kent

Oct. 9. 1851

Dear Sir

I have much pleasure in expressing my opinion, from the high character of your published contributions to Science, and from the course of your studies during your long Voyage,1 that you are excellently qualified for a Professorship in Natural History.—

You have my best wishes for success in your present application,2 & I beg to remain | Dear Sir | Your’s faithfully | Charles Darwin T. H. Huxley Esqe


Huxley had been assistant-surgeon on board H.M.S. Rattlesnake, surveying the seas between Australia and the Great Barrier Reef, 1846–50, and had worked extensively on marine organisms.
This letter, together with testimonials from Edward Forbes, Richard Owen, William Benjamin Carpenter, and twelve other scientists, was printed for Huxley’s unsuccessful application for the chair of natural history at the University of Toronto (see L. Huxley ed. 1900, 1: 77–83). Huxley reported that he had ‘put together … twelve or fourteen testimonials from the first men. I will have no other.’ (ibid., p. 78).


Testimonial for THH’s application for Chair in Natural History at Toronto.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Thomas Henry Huxley
Sent from
Source of text
Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine Archives (Huxley 5: 1)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1457,” accessed on 25 September 2021,

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