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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. E. Gray   28 March [1854]

Down Farnborough Kent

March 28th.—

Dear Gray

As you were so kind as to say that you would complete for me, as far as possible, the Zoolog.y of the Erebus & Terror,1 I send a list of what I have. I shd. be very glad to have the missing Parts.

As the numbering of the Parts is not consecutive I thought I shd. make my deficiencies plainest by giving the pages of the text of that which I have.— Perhaps you will be so good as to have any Parts, (together with Busk,2 whenever you can screw a copy out of the Trustees) put together for me, & I will call for them in about 3 weeks.— Pray forgive this trouble & believe me, Dear Gray | Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin

Has the arrangement of the Cirripedes made any progress? I hope that you will make my work be of such value, as it may possess, by keeping my names, though it may be only temporarily.3 I shd. so much like to see all in a Cabinet. I am going soon to arrange Mr. Cuming’s for him, or rather to superintend their arrangement.—4


Gray had been at work with John Richardson since 1844 on the zoology of the voyage of the Erebus and Terror (Richardson and Gray 1844–75).
Busk 1852–4. A copy is in the Darwin Library–CUL. CD’s notes on this work are in DAR 71: 85–6.
The British Museum (Natural History) possesses only one cabinet of dry cirripede shells mounted on slabs from CD’s collection. It also holds an exhibition display of a series of dry specimens of varieties of Balanus amphitrite, accompanied by CD’s manuscript list of ‘Shells’ and of ‘Opercular valves’ (Harding 1962, p. 273). According to Withers 1928–53, many of CD’s names for the fossil cirripede specimens have been retained although some, of course, have subsequently been altered.
Hugh Cuming had lent his cirripede collection, one of the largest and best in England, to CD (Living Cirripedia (1851): vii).


Busk, George. 1852–4. Catalogue of marine Polyzoa in the collection of the British Museum. 2 vols. London: printed by order of the Trustees.

Harding, J. P. 1962. Darwin’s type specimens of varieties of Balanus amphitrite. Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) (Zoology) 9: 271–96.

Living Cirripedia (1851): A monograph of the sub-class Cirripedia, with figures of all the species. The Lepadidæ; or, pedunculated cirripedes. By Charles Darwin. London: Ray Society. 1851.

Withers, Thomas Henry. 1928–53. Catalogue of fossil Cirripedia in the department of geology. 3 vols. London: British Museum (Natural History).


Asks for parts of The zoology of the voyage of H.M.S. Erebus and Terror [1844–75].

Asks about the arrangement of cirripedes at the Museum; hopes JEG will keep CD’s names.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Edward Gray
Sent from
Source of text
Natural History Museum (Zoology letters 2: 56)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1564,” accessed on 22 September 2021,

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