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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Edward Cresy1   [before May 1848?]2

Down, Farnborough, Kent,


My dear Sir,

I should have written sooner to have thanked you for your kindness, had I not been absent from home for a couple of days. I feel very much obliged to you for taking the trouble to write me so full and clear an account of the change in quality of the wool and I am very glad to have seen it. I am quite prepared to credit the entire statement of Mr. Russell,3 though, owing to the effects of a hot climate on wool having been in some instances much exaggerated, some authors will not admit that climate has any perceptible action. Changes in the same individual certainly seem unusual, nevertheless there is apparently one quite authentic case of an English cat left for a season in East Africa, which became covered with the finest wool or down and was hardly recognizable by its old master, Capt. Owen.4

I have never seen so detailed a statement of change effected in England on the same individual as in your letter.

I sincerely hope your health is quite re-established; I was very sorry to hear how seriously ill you have been. I presume that you have left Paris; if you should happen to go there again, I wish you would kindly inform me, and I would beg you to consult a work for me on sheep, (which would not take you more than 12 an hour) which I can not otherwise see.5

Pray remember me kindly to Mr. & Mrs. Cresy, whom I hope are well, and believe me, my dear Sir,

Yours sincerely, | C. Darwin.


Edward Cresy, son of Edward Cresy Sr, the architect and engineer who had advised CD about the purchase of Down House (see Correspondence vol. 2, letter to Susan Darwin, [late July–August 1842]). The son was also an architect and engineer who lived in Down village.
Dated from the relationship to the two letters to Edward Cresy, [before May 1848?] and [May 1848] (calendar numbers 805 and 1171, respectively).
Probably Henry Stuart Russell, sheep farmer and explorer in Australia, or his brother, Sydenham Russell. See Russell 1845.
William Fitzwilliam Owen transported a cat from Algoa Bay (c. 34o lat.) to Mombasa (c. 4o lat.) (W. F. Owen 1833, 1: 180). CD refers to this in Variation 1: 46–7.
Darluc 1782–6. See letter to Edward Cresy, [before May 1848?], n. 9.


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

Darluc, Michel. 1782–6. Histoire naturelle de la Provence, contenant ce qu’il y a de plus remarquable dans les règnes végétal, minéral, animal et la partie géoponique. 3 vols. Avignon.

Owen, William Fitzwilliam. 1833. Narrative of voyages to explore the shores of Africa, Arabia, and Madagascar; performed in HM Ships Leven and Barracouta. Edited by H. B. Robinson. 2 vols. London.

Russell, Henry Stuart. 1845. Exploring excursions in Australia. Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London 15: 305–27.

Variation: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868.


Obliged for account of change in quality of wool. "Some authors will not admit that climate has any perceptible action."

Hopes his health is re-established.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Edward Cresy, Jr
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 143: 303
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1545,” accessed on 31 July 2021,

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