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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Edward Blyth   27 March 1863

White Hart Hotel, | Bromley, Kent.

March 27/63— | 412 p.m.

My dear Sir,

Thus far on a flying visit to you; but I find that I cannot accomplish this today, as I am engaged to dine at the United University Club, Pall Mall, at 7 p.m. I had no idea that your residence is so far from Bromley.1 I reached London on the evening of the 9th., just in time for the crowds on the Prince’s Wedding day, which event I could have wished had happened on any other day.2 But I found a refuge in the Somerset Hotel, Strand (next door to King’s College), where I have been staying ever since, though seldom to be found there during the day. What with sight-seeing & visiting, my time has been pretty well taken up as yet; & about the end of this month I shall leave London for a few weeks, to pay a few visits in Sussex, Wilts, &c.3 I am sorry that the fates have so ordained that I cannot see you today, but there is now no help for it; so kindly write me word upon what day of next week I am likely to find you at home, when I will leave town after breakfast—4

Trusting that your health is better than it was, I remain | Yours ever Sincerely, | E. Blyth—


Down House was about six miles south of Bromley railway station (Post Office directory of the six home counties 1862).
Albert Edward, prince of Wales, married Alexandra, eldest daughter of Prince Christian of Denmark, on 10 March 1863 (DNB). Blyth, who had been curator of the museum of the Asiatic Society of Bengal since 1841, was forced to leave Calcutta for England at the end of 1862 as a consequence of ill health (see Blyth 1875, p. xii, and Correspondence vol. 10, letter from Edward Blyth, 23 November 1862). During the 1850s, Blyth had become one of CD’s most important correspondents, providing him with a vast amount of information on the plants and animals of India (see Correspondence vols. 5–7).
Blyth had relations in Sussex, whom he visited in April 1863 (see letter from Edward Blyth, 7 April 1863 and n. 1). Later in the year, he visited Charles Edward Rendall of Brigmerston House, near Amesbury, Wiltshire (see the Field 21 (1863): 464 and Post Office directory of Hampshire, Dorsetshire, and Wiltshire 1859).
There is no evidence that Blyth visited CD at Down during 1863.


Blyth, Edward. 1875. Catalogue of mammals and birds of Burma. With a memoir [by A. Grote] and portrait of the author. Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal n.s. 43 (1874), pt 2, extra number (1875).

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

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.

Post Office directory of Hampshire, Dorsetshire, and Wiltshire: Post Office directory of Hampshire, Dorsetshire, and Wiltshire. Post Office directory of Dorsetshire, Wiltshire, and Hampshire, including the Isle of Wight. London: Kelly & Co. 1848–75.

Post Office directory of the six home counties: Post Office directory of the six home counties, viz., Essex, Herts, Kent, Middlesex, Surrey and Sussex. London: W. Kelly & Co. 1845–78.


Wants to know when he may visit CD.

Letter details

Letter no.
Edward Blyth
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
White Hart Hotel, Bromley
Source of text
DAR 160: 203
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4062,” accessed on 17 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 11