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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. B. Tegetmeier   31 May [1856]1

Down Bromley Kent

May 31st

My dear Sir

I have to thank you for manifold kindnesses.— I have received the eggs safely & put them under a Hen.—2

I am particularly obliged to you for mentioning the Angora Doe, for I have just lately been comparing 2 or 3 skeletons, & I find differences enough to make me wish to go on; therefore I shd. be extremely much obliged if you would purchase her for me, if she goes under say 15s, but I hope she may fetch less. Could you get the Porter to stick her, for I do not want her alive, & she would get knocked about & half-starved in our cross country Roads.

I find that it ruins the skull to kill a rabbit in the ordinary way by a blow, & I shd. think it would be difficult to break the neck below the atlas.— I really do not wish or expect you to do so disagreeable task as to stick the poor beast, but I daresay the same Porter whom you employ to carry her (addressed to C. Darwin, care of Mr Acton, P. Office, Bromley Kent) would do it— You must please remember that I must pay you for all little contingent expences. With respect to Malays &c, I shd. be glad at any time of a Cock for skeleton if one goes cheap..—

Should you ever stumble across any good natured Rabbit fancier, will you remember my wish for dead Bodies of fine specimens.—

With respect to the Laughers, I shall be in London on June 21st & shall leave 57 Queen Anne St Cavendish Sqre on that day, if that would not be too long for you to keep the Birds.—3

Upon my life it is almost laughable the trouble I cause you, & how you can be so goodnatured, I hardly understand. I am only just in time to catch Post

Yours etc | C. Darwin


Dated by the reference to a forthcoming trip to London (see n. 3, below).
Eggs from Tegetmeier’s silver-spangled Polish hens (see letters to W. B. Tegetmeier, 25 April [1856] and 11 May [1856]).
CD went to London on 18 June 1856 and returned on 21 June (Emma Darwin’s diary). The Queen Anne Street address is that of his brother Erasmus Alvey, with whom he stayed.


Wants good rabbit specimens. Will be in London on 21 June and can pick up some pigeons.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Sent from
Source of text
Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1882,” accessed on 28 November 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 6