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Darwin Correspondence Project

To T. C. Eyton   9 June [1857]1

Down Bromley Kent

June 9th

Dear Eyton

I must thank you for the sheets completing your Catalogue received this morning.2 What a superb collection you have: I am quite astounded at it!

I fear that you have not been able to find out whether the half bred African Pigs of Lord Hills’ were fertile, which I regret as it would have made your capital case on Pigs perfect.3 How go on the skeletons of dogs &c &c?—4

By the way I mentioned in a former letter that I had a skin with skull in & legs of a pure W. African domestic dog; but I presume you do not care about it.—5 Some day I will send it to Brit. Mus. if of no use to you.—

Believe me dear Eyton | Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin

P.S. Do you breed horses? If you did & would make a few observations for me merely on the colouring of colts of different colours, it would be of much use to me, & I do not think troublesome;6 but I daresay you have your hands quite full enough with your own work.—

Can you tell me whether the convolutions in the Trachea of the male of the same species of Bird ever varies much?—


Dated by reference to other letters in the Eyton correspondence (see nn. 5 and 6, below).
CD refers to Eyton’s Catalogue of the species of birds in his possession (Eyton 1856), which was issued in parts. A copy of the work is in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL.
In Eyton 1837a, Eyton had mentioned the case of a litter of pigs from a cross between Rowland Hill’s African boar and a female common pig, stating ‘time will show whether they will again be fruitful’ (Eyton 1837a, p. 23). CD cited the case in Variation 1: 74.
See Correspondence vol. 5, letters to T. C. Eyton, 25 October [1855] and 3 December [1855].
For CD’s interest in the colouring of horses, see the letter to J. D. Hooker, 5 June [1857] and letter to T. C. Eyton, 26 [June 1857].


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

Eyton, Thomas Campbell. 1856. A catalogue of the species of birds in his possession. Wellington, Salop.

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


Comments on TCE’s work [Catalogue of the species of birds in his collection (1856)].

Mentions African dog’s skin.

Asks about colours of horses

and about variation in tracheae of male birds.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Thomas Campbell Eyton
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.146)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2103,” accessed on 5 December 2021,

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