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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Charles Lyell   [November–December 1842]

Down near Bromley | Kent.

Sunday Morning

My dear Lyell

I have just taken down the controversial pamphlet of Charlsworth1 & I see his solicitor is Mr. Richardson & Talbot of Bedford Row, therefore no doubt the same man, who wrote that absurd letter to last Council, stating that he should propose so & so.2 Now as Charlsworth talked of legal proceedings, is it not probable that this letter has been deliberately written somehow to intrap the Council? Had it not better be carefully read over,— I think it was only hastily read aloud & voted absurd. & not even ordered to be acknowledged. I would have written direct to Murchison, but it may be foolish caution on my part, if you think otherwise, you can inform Murchison or forward this note.— We shall certainly have this attorney on his legs next Wednesday. or when special general meeting is called.

Ever yours | C Darwin


See letter to Charles Lyell, [5 and 7 October 1842] for CD’s account of Charlesworth’s efforts to become Curator of the Geological Society. The ‘controversial pamphlet’ has not been identified.
Possibly the letter to Austen mentioned in the letter to Charles Lyell, [5 and 7 October 1842].


Believes "absurd letter" hastily read at last Geological Society Council meeting was from Charlesworth’s solicitor. Suggests that it may have been sent to entrap the Council and that it should be read over carefully.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Sent from
Source of text
The British Library (Surrogate RP 7381(i))
Physical description
(photocopy) 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 653,” accessed on 27 September 2021,

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