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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Robert FitzRoy   20 June [1839]

Bromham | Bedford

20th. June

Dear Darwin

Thank you for the communication respecting Mr. Brown. What your own opinions are you do not say—but I have no hesitation in telling you that upon his own showing I think he has treated King worse than I was before aware. It appears he has not only kept back King’s plants from the British Museum, but also from the Edinburgh for nine years! King’s letter to him might tell in law but is sadly against him with reference to feeling.1

Though Anderson was (at all events partly) paid by a London Seedsman or Nursery Gardener—he was accommodated & victualled by the public for whose interests the Captain of the Ship was in some degree resp⁠⟨⁠on⁠⟩⁠sible to the Admiralty. 2

Your’s very truly | Robt FitzRoy

PS. I am eagerly and most agreeably occupied with your book— I will write in a few days about it.

We both beg to be kindly remembered to Mrs. Darwin whom I hope soon to see again.


Philip Parker King. The disagreement between Philip Parker King and Robert Brown arose in consequence of Brown’s delay in describing King’s botanical specimens (see letter to John Stevens Henslow, 28 March [1837]). King’s letter to Brown, mentioned here, is now missing.
James Anderson is listed as ‘Botanical Collector’ on board the Adventure during the first surveying voyage (1826–30) (Narrative 1: xii).


Narrative: Narrative of the surveying voyages of His Majesty’s ships Adventure and Beagle, between the years 1826 and 1836. [Edited by Robert FitzRoy.] 3 vols. and appendix. London: Henry Colburn. 1839.


Robert Brown has mistreated Capt. P. P. King by holding back for nine years the plants collected on King’s voyage of the Adventure and Beagle.

Letter details

Letter no.
Robert FitzRoy
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Bromham, Bedford
Source of text
DAR 204: 147
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 522,” accessed on 4 December 2021,

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