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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Edward Blyth   31 August 1868

7 Princess Terrace, | Regent’s Pk,


My dear Sir,

I am just off to spent a week in Wilts, within easy walk to Stonehenge, & where my address will be Brigmerston House, near Amesbury.1 Meanwhile I was about to send you some very interesting remarks on elephants, published in the Proc. As. Soc. B., which I received last week from Calcutta.2 But I lent them to Bartlett on Saturday, & this morning he cannot put his hand on them so I have asked him to forward them to you by post.3 I hear there is yet a probability of our getting the African 2-horn rhinoceros in the Z.G. It was said that the King of Italy had purchased it, partly by exchange for a pair of giraffes and the rest in cash, but he wishes to throw the whole trouble and expence & risk of transit of both the rhinoceros & the giraffes on the vendor, & so the negociation was broken off, as this would make rather too large a hole in the £1000.4

If you feel well enough, you should take an early opportunity to see the hoolock Gibbon in the Z.G., which is best seen in the morning, when Bartlett would turn it loose that you might see its actions among the trees.5

Yours very truly | E Blyth

CD annotations

1.3 Brigmerston … some 1.3] scored red crayon
1.4 received … Blyth 3.1] crossed pencil


Blyth was evidently planning to visit his friend Charles Edward Rendall in Wiltshire (see Correspondence vol. 11, letter from Edward Blyth, 27 March 1863 and n. 3).
Blyth refers to Johnstone 1868, in the Proceedings of the Asiatic Society of Bengal for May 1868. CD cited this paper in Descent 1: 268.
Blyth refers to Abraham Dee Bartlett. The paper has not been found in the Darwin Archive–CUL.
The Zoological Society of London purchased an African two-horned rhinocerus (Rhinocerus bicornis, now Diceros bicornis, the black rhinoceros) on 11 September 1868. The vendor was Carl Hagenbeck, and the animal was believed to be the first individual of the species to reach Europe alive since Roman times. (Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London (1868): 529.) The king of Italy was Victor Emmanuel II. Z.G.: the society’s Zoological Gardens in Regent’s Park, London.
A hoolock gibbon (Hylobates hoolock) was presented to the Zoological Society on 14 August 1868 (Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London (1868): 526).


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

Descent: The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1871.

Johnstone, J. 1868. Notes on elephants. [Read 6 May 1868.] Proceedings of the Asiatic Society of Bengal (1868): 127–9.


EB is moving to Wiltshire for a week.

Tells CD of animals acquired, or about to be acquired, by the Zoological Garden.

Letter details

Letter no.
Edward Blyth
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Princess Terrace, 7
Source of text
DAR 160: 215
Physical description
3pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6336,” accessed on 1 December 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 16