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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Arthur Mellersh   25 January 1872

Fernhurst | Haslemere

January 25. 1872

My dear Darwin,

Sulivan sent me Phil. Kings Photo. and asked me to send it on to you.1 It is a capital picture though if he were to come over here as a “Claimant” I don’t think I could swear to him, and I daresay if he had the Attorney General on his side I should be called some very hard names.2 It is now nearly ten years since Wickham Sulivan and I spent a pleasant evening at your house.3 One of the three is gone, and in the world what mighty events have happened! probably they will be surpassed by what will be done in the next ten. Sulivan tells me there is a mission established in Tierra del Fuego, I hope it will succeed in preventing the poor people from being “improved” off the face of the earth.4 I feel a strange longing to wander in those lands again, but 60 years, and rheumatic-gouty fingers will I fear keep me at home.

With compliments to Mrs. Darwin, I am my Dear Darwin | Yours very truly | A. Mellersh


See letter from B. J. Sulivan, 23 January 1872. Mellersh refers to Bartholomew James Sulivan and Philip Gidley King.
The attorney-general, Henry Hawkins, was addressing the jury in the case of the Tichborne claimant (The Times, 25 January 1872, pp. 11–12). Hawkins was noted for the ridicule he poured on the claimant and his witnesses. King had settled in Australia in 1836.
Mellersh, Sulivan, and John Clements Wickham visited Down House on 21 October 1862 (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)).


Reminisces on the evening he, B. J. Sulivan, and J. C. Wickham from the Beagle spent with CD, nearly ten years ago.

Hopes the mission at Tierra del Fuego will not "improve" the people to extinction.

Letter details

Letter no.
Arthur Mellersh
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 171: 146
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8182,” accessed on 20 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 20