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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Frederick William Herschel   2 [November 1838]

My dear Sir

I happened to mention to Mr Macleay, who sails in a few days to Australia,1 the plan, you told me the other evening, you had followed with success in catching pelagic animals, when the Ship has way on her.— Mr Macleay is particularly anxious to know the size of the mesh, & where he can obtain the kind of netting.—

I called the other day on Lady Herschel, & had hoped to have been enabled to have asked you this question; so I hope you will excuse the liberty I take in troubling you with this note, as I promised Mr Macleay—I would endeavour to procure from you an answer before I again saw him.—

Believe me | Yours truly obliged | Charles Darwin Friday 2d 2

36 Grt. Marlbro’ St.


By 29 May 1839, CD had heard of William Sharp MacLeay’s safe arrival at Rio de Janeiro (see letter to W. S. MacLeay, 29 May 1839).
‘Friday 2d’ occurred in February, March, and November 1838, but Herschel did not return to England until May.


Requests information for W. S. Macleay on JFWH’s method of catching pelagic animals while ship is under way.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Frederick William Herschel, 1st baronet
Sent from
London, Gt Marlborough St, 36
Source of text
The Royal Society (HS6: 10)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 430,” accessed on 26 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 2