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Darwin Correspondence Project

To G. A. Mantell   21 [April 1843]

Down | Bromley | Kent

Friday 21st

My dear Sir

I should be sincerely glad to serve you in any way; I fear, however, I can do but little in the present case.— I have not seen Capt. FitzRoy for the last eight months, and should not like to write any request to him; but if, as I hope, I see him before his departure (& I have just written to ask him when he sails)1 I will make a point of earnestly begging him to take your letter to me with him & to read it over carefully on his voyage when at leisure. I am sure I could say nothing better than the plain & very reasonable statement in your letter. If Capt. FitzRoy will read your letter, when not hurried, I think it may do your son2 some service. I wish I could offer more effectual aid.— I will write & inform you whether I succeed.

I had already heard with much regret of your ill-health

Believe me | My dear Sir | Your’s very faithfully | C. Darwin


Walter Baldock Durant Mantell. In 1840, at the age of twenty, he had settled in New Zealand, where he eventually held various government posts. In the late 1840s he sent extensive collections of fossils to England. They were described by his father (Mantell 1848) and by Richard Owen (Owen 1849).


Regrets that he can offer little aid. If he sees Captain FitzRoy, he will give him GAM’s letter to read at leisure.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Gideon Algernon Mantell
Sent from
Source of text
Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand (Mantell papers MS-Papers-0083-033-4)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 671A,” accessed on 22 September 2021,

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