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Darwin Correspondence Project

To T. H. Huxley   [30? July 1860]1


– Wolstenholme2 (tutor of Christ’s Coll) told me (i.e. my son

William) last night;3 that two Cambridge men, one a blind man named Fawcett,4 were at the Brit. Assoc.; and after the meeting they happened to be near the B. of Oxford; and the one asked Fawcett whether he thought the Bishop had ever read the Origin; and the blind man shouted out in a loud voice “Oh no, I would swear he has never read a word of it.” The Bishop bounced round with an awful scowl and was just going to pitch into him, when he saw that he was blind, and said nothing.—


Dated by the relationship to the preceding letter.
Joseph Wolstenholme, a fellow of Christ’s College, Cambridge, was William Erasmus Darwin’s mathematics tutor.
See preceding letter.
Henry Fawcett, a fellow of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, lost his sight in a shooting accident in 1858 (DNB). The reference is to Samuel Wilberforce, the bishop of Oxford. See also Appendix VI.


DNB: Dictionary of national biography. Edited by Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee. 63 vols. and 2 supplements (6 vols.). London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1912. Dictionary of national biography 1912–90. Edited by H. W. C. Davis et al. 9 vols. London: Oxford University Press. 1927–96.


Relates anecdote concerning the blind Henry Fawcett and the Bishop of Oxford; Fawcett proclaimed, within the other’s hearing, that the Bishop had not read the Origin.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Thomas Henry Huxley
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 145
Physical description
1p inc

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2887,” accessed on 28 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 8