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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. B. Dawkins   14 July [1869]1

[Caerdeon, Barmouth.]

Mr. dear Mr. Dawkins,

I know from your great paper on the glacial remains how much you are interested about cave animals.2 I have just heard from one of the Lloyds of Rhaggatt that a fissure has been opened in a limestone quarry, full of bones and teeth.3 The Rhaggatt estate lies between Ruthie & Llangollen. Some specimens including small jaws have been sent to me, & if you will give me your address by return of post I will send you by Railway or Post all the specimens or a few teeth & jaws, by which you will be able to judge whether the case is worth investigating. The bones are said to resemble in appearance those from the Cefn cave.4

The post is going immediately so that I can say no more at present. | Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from W. B. Dawkins, 17 July 1869 (Correspondence vol. 17).
Dawkins, together with his colleague William Ayshford Sanford, had begun publishing a monograph on mammalian palaeontology; the first three parts of the first volume, on fossil Felidae, had been published between 1866 and 1869 (Dawkins and Sanford 1866–72, 1: i–l, 1–176).
Gertrude Jane Mary Lloyd, who was in charge of the Rhaggatt estate, superintended the collection of fossil remains found in the cave near Corwen in the hills south of the town of Ruthin in Wales (for more on CD’s acquisition of the bones, see Lucas 2007, pp. 325–6). CD was staying about forty miles away at Caerdeon in Wales (Correspondence vol. 17, Appendix II).
Cefn cave is in the parish of Cefn Meiriadog, Denbighshire, Wales. In August 1831, CD had visited the cave while on a geological tour with Adam Sedgwick (Browne 1995, p. 142).


Knows Dawkins interested in cave animals; has just heard from a Lloyd of Rhaggatt that a fissure has opened full of bones and teeth. Will send some.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Boyd Dawkins
Source of text
Skinner, Inc. (dealers) (15 November 2009)

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6857F,” accessed on 27 October 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 24 (Supplement)