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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Robert Hutton   [April 1846]1

Down Bromley Kent


My dear Sir

I am very much obliged to you for the loan of the Horticultural Journal: I have read Dr. Herbert’s journal with interest.2 I will return the Journal today to the Athenæum Club & I hope it will not inconvenience you my sending it there, instead of direct to your house.— My wife joins me in kind remembrances to Mrs. Hutton & your family.

Believe me, Yours sincerely, with thanks | C. Darwin


Dated from the reference to W. Herbert 1846, which CD was anxious to read, see letter to J. D. Hooker, [8? February 1846]. Robert Hutton was at that time a vice-president of the Geological Society and may have lent CD his copy of the journal on one of CD’s trips to London. The letter has a mourning border of the kind used by CD after the death of Elizabeth (Bessy) Wedgwood on 31 March 1846.
CD’s notes on W. Herbert 1846 are in DAR 74: 149–150. CD recorded and commented on the observations that bore upon his notions on competition and adaptation. William Herbert’s observations on the effects of struggle between plants were later used in Natural Selection, pp. 195–6.


Returns copy [of J. Hortic. Soc. Lond.]. Mentions article by William Herbert ["Local habitation and wants of plants", J. Hortic. Soc. Lond. 1 (1846): 44–9].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Robert Hutton
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.54)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 952,” accessed on 24 September 2021,

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