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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Benjamin Collins Brodie   9 June 1870

Cowley house, | Oxford.

June 9. 1870.

Dear Sir.

As I hear that you may possibly come to Oxford at the approaching Commemoration for the purpose of receiving the degree, which we hope to have the honour of conferring upon you.1 I venture to ask whether you would come and stay with me and make my house your home by bringing with you Mrs Darwin and your daughter.2 I have, I know, no particular right to make such a request. But I hope the common bond of scientific pursuits will justify the freedom which I take, and also so many of your friends are my friends also that I cannot but say it will be a great pleasure to me, if you will allow me to become known to you.3

I am, | very truly yours | BC Brodie

Charles Darwin Esqr.


Benjamin Collins Brodie (1817–80) refers to Emma and presumably Henrietta Emma Darwin. CD had consulted Brodie about Henrietta’s health in August 1856 (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)).
Brodie was the Wayneflete Professor of chemistry at the University of Oxford (ODNB). Joseph Dalton Hooker had visited him in 1869 (see Correspondence vol. 17, letter from J. D. Hooker, 14 November 1869).


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

ODNB: Oxford dictionary of national biography: from the earliest times to the year 2000. (Revised edition.) Edited by H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. 60 vols. and index. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2004.


Hears CD may come to Oxford at Commencement to receive an honorary degree. Invites CD, his wife, and daughter to stay at his house. [CD declined Hon. D.C.L. on grounds of ill health.]

Letter details

Letter no.
Benjamin Collins Brodie, Jr, 2d baronet
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 160: 315
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7225,” accessed on 23 September 2021,

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