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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Edward William Brayley1   7 February 1845

Down, Kent

Fe. 7th. 1845.

My dear Sir

You have my best wishes for your success in your present application. You are aware that I have never had an opportunity of hearing you lecture, & therefore cannot speak of your qualifications in that line; but I have great pleasure in adding, that I have always been struck by your remarkable powers in acquiring scientific knowledge of varied kinds, & by your extensive reading. I think it will be generally acknowledged, that a capacity of this nature, must be eminently serviceable in teaching a subject of so divesified a nature as Geology.—

Believe me dear Sir | Yours very faithfully | C. Darwin E. W. Brayley Esqe


Brayley was applying for the professorship of geology at University College London. His application was not successful and the post went to Andrew Crombie Ramsay in 1847, T. Joyce having taught geology in the interim. See Bellot 1929. This letter was published in a volume of testimonials for Brayley, see Freeman 1977, pp. 63–4.


Bellot, Hugh Hale. 1929. University College London, 1826-1926. London: University of London Press.

Freeman, Richard Broke. 1977. The works of Charles Darwin: an annotated bibliographical handlist. 2d edition. Folkestone, Kent: William Dawson & Sons. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, Shoe String Press.


Discusses EWB’s application for a position and his qualifications.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Edward William Brayley
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.41)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 822,” accessed on 20 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 3