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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. Knightly Ince1   [1857–61?]2


excess of advancement retrograde into mere muddle—

The Schimmels the grays are—
Eisen— irongray
apfel— applegray
Honig honey gray— we call it nutmeg—& a very bad grey it is & getting unhappily very common

but you know all this as well as I do— Silber, schwarz, roth & gray schimmel I mean— “rothschimmel” tho’ I ought to say is a “strawberry roan”—

The “Falb”s

are “dun”—fulvus, “fallow”, “fallow dun” &c &c—

Kuhfalb. red dun
Reh falb— fallow deer dun
semmelfalb. cream coloured—

The Braun’s

Hellbraun— bright bay
Kastaninenbraun Châtaine3
Kirschbraun clarety Brown
Fahl braun greyish Brown



Zobel fuchs— sable Chesnut
Stichel fuchs dappled slotted Chesnut. The Chesnut with those black smears one sees.

Sir, you deserve well of yr country—& I trust these Germans will not bemuddle you in your own clear headedness & humbug hating soul—4

These I am convinced you possess—

Pray give our kindest regards to Mrs Darwin & our little lassies love to the little ones

Yrs ever dear Sir with sincere respect very truly | J Knightly Ince

CD annotations

3.1 “Falb”s] ‘Falb’ added after, pencil
4.4 semmelfalb.] ‘bread’ added above, pencil
7.1 Fuchs] ‘Fuchs’ added after, pencil
9.3 smears] underl pencil
9.3 one] ‘one’ added over, pencil
10.1 Sir … truly 13.1] crossed pencil
Top of letter: ‘p12 & p96’5 pencil


J. Knightly Ince has not been identified.
The date range is conjectured from the subject matter, colours of horses. Most of CD’s letters on this subject were written between 1857 and 1861.
Châtaine: chestnut-brown (French).
CD had presumably asked Ince about German words for the colours of horses. He may have been reading Hofacker 1828, a German work on inheritance including a discussion of colour in horses. CD cited Hofacker 1828 in his discussion of inheritance of colour in horses in Variation 1: 59, and in a letter on the subject to the Field, [before 25 May 1861] (Correspondence vol. 9).
The page references are probably to Hofacker 1828; these pages are annotated in CD’s copy in the Darwin Library–CUL (see Marginalia 1: 382–4).


Translates some German terms describing colour of horses.

Letter details

Letter no.
J. Knightly Ince
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 261.11: 20 (EH 88206072)
Physical description
4pp inc †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6538,” accessed on 19 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 18 (Supplement)