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Darwin Correspondence Project

From John Edward Gray   21 November 1867

Brit. Mus

21 Nov 1867

My Dear Darwin

Thanks for sending the skins & skeletons of the Domestic & other animals   they shall be well cared for1

I do not know if your take in the Proceedings Zool Soc   I have been making a zoological arrangement of Sponges & would send you a copy of the paper if you do not take in the Proceedings   hithertoo the arrangement of them has been entirely empirical—2

I will take care that the Boxes shall be returned to you & will you direct Mr G Snow to call for them any day next week3

You were quite right not to pay the carriage

With kindest Regards & Congratulations at your Book being so nearly out as to allow you to send the specimens4

Ever yours faithfully | J. E Gray

The Boxes have arrived but unfortunately the man left without our giving him the direction to call & they were left in the Hall & the Porter too idle to let us know the man was there

The Boxes shall be Ready for him on Monday or any day after


CD provided the British Museum with specimens of ducks, pigeons, and Gallus bankiva, ancestor of the domestic fowl; these were exhibited at the Natural History Museum in 1910, and their relevance to CD’s work on Variation was noted in the guide to the exhibition (British Museum (Natural History) 1910, especially pp. 273–4).
CD subscribed to the Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London. Gray’s paper (J. E. Gray 1867) is a review of the classification of sponges with proposals for new taxonomic divisions; there is a copy in the collection of unbound journals, Darwin Library–CUL.
George Snow, the coal dealer at Down, operated a carrier service between the village and London on Thursdays (Post Office directory of the six home counties 1866).
Gray refers to Variation. See also n. 1, above.


British Museum (Natural History). 1910. Memorials of Charles Darwin: a collection of manuscripts, portraits, medals, books and natural history specimens to commemorate the centenary of his birth and the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of The origin of species. Special guide no. 4. 2d edition. London: British Museum. [Facsimile reprint. Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) Historical Series 14 (1988): 235–98.]

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.

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


Thanks for skins and skeletons.

Has been arranging sponges [Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond. (1867): 495–558].

Letter details

Letter no.
John Edward Gray
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
British Museum
Source of text
DAR 165: 212
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5692,” accessed on 20 January 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 15