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Darwin Correspondence Project

To George Robert Waterhouse   12 November [1861]1

Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.

Nov. 12th

My dear Waterhouse

Many thanks for the enclosed interesting letter.—2 It always pleases me to see a clear-headed man on my side, & especially if he be bold enough to speak out, & thus render really efficient aid.— For it will require much speaking out before this side will receive fair toleration.—

Mr. Walsh has evidently been a close & good observer of Fishes.—3 What he says about the Sea-Trout in the Loch is very curious; & it would be very desirable that some professed Ichthyologist should examine these Trout.— It would make a good case for me.— But until thus examined & pronounced on, cavillers would simply deny that the fish was a sea-trout.—

I hope to see you before long, for I shall be up on the 21st to read a paper at Linn. Soc.—4

Did you ever look at the skull of the Borneo Domestic Cat, which I gave you?—5

My dear Waterhouse | Yours very sincerely | Charles Darwin


Dated by CD’s reference to reading a paper before the Linnean Society of London (see n. 4, below).
The enclosure has not been found.
Walsh has not been identified.
CD read a paper on the two forms of Primula to the Linnean Society on Thursday, 21 November 1861 (see Collected papers 2: 45–63).
CD had obtained specimens of cats and other domestic animals from Borneo through James Brooke, the raja of Saráwak (see Correspondence vol. 5, CD memorandum, [December 1855]; and vol. 6, letter to A. R. Wallace, 1 May 1857). Waterhouse had examined a South American feral cat CD brought back from the Beagle voyage (see Variation 1: 47).


Collected papers: The collected papers of Charles Darwin. Edited by Paul H. Barrett. 2 vols. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press. 1977.

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

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


Returns a letter from a Mr Walsh – "a clear-headed man on my side". What he says about sea trout in lochs would make a good case for CD if borne out by professional ichthyologists.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
George Robert Waterhouse
Sent from
Source of text
Cleveland Health Sciences Library (Robert M. Stecher collection)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3317,” accessed on 18 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 9