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Darwin Correspondence Project

To G. H. K. Thwaites   28 September [1868]1

Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.

Sept. 28th

My dear Thwaites

I write a few lines merely to thank you & to beg you to thank for me Mr. Layard for all the trouble which you have taken.2

I am surprised at the result for not only is Mr E. Layard generally very trustworthy, but Mr Blyth tells exactly the same story in regard to the same fowls in Bengal.3

The Officers of the Zoolog. Socy. very foolishly in my opinion, object to domestic varieties, so that it would not be worth while to send them there or to me.—4 I am nevertheless truly obliged for the offer.—

With cordial thanks | Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from G. H. K. Thwaites of 22 July 1868.
CD refers to Charles Parker Layard. See letter to G. H. K. Thwaites, 19 May [1868], and letter from G. H. K. Thwaites, 22 July 1868. No more recent letter from Thwaites has been found.
In a letter that has not been found, Thwaites evidently passed on information from C. P. Layard concerning the breeding of black-skinned (black-boned) fowl (see letter from G. H. K. Thwaites, 22 July 1868, and letter from C. P. Layard to G. H. K. Thwaites, 28 July 1868). No recent correspondence with Edward Blyth concerning black-skinned fowl has been found. However, in 1855, Blyth mentioned difficulty in finding cocks of the black-skinned fowl and noted a similar comment by Edgar Leopold Layard in E. L. Layard 1853–4, p. 63 (see Correspondence vol. 5, letter from Edward Blyth, [22 September 1855] and n. 40). CD did not receive an answer to his question about the plumage of young black-skinned fowl until 1869 (see letter from S. O. Glenie, 27 November 1868, and Correspondence vol. 17, letter from S. O. Glenie, 20 March 1869).
The Zoological Society of London administered the Zoological Gardens at Regent’s Park.


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

Layard, Edgar Leopold. 1853–4. Notes on the ornithology of Ceylon, collected during an eight years’ residence in the island. Annals and Magazine of Natural History 2d ser. 12: 97–107, 165–76, 262–72; 13: 123–31, 212–18, 257–64, 446–53; 14: 57–64, 105–15, 264–72.


Asks him to thank E. L. Layard for trouble taken.

Says Zoological Society "very foolishly" wants no specimens of domestic varieties [from Ceylon].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
George Henry Kendrick Thwaites
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.343)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6395,” accessed on 20 September 2021,

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