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Darwin Correspondence Project

From T. H. Huxley   28 September 1869

My dear Darwin

I got back to the mill & received your letter yesterday.—1 (Item the tooth) I will do my best to make out the tooth—though I should tell you before hand that I am not disposed to place much weight upon conclusions that may be based upon a single tooth of a horse

Bad man that you are, you do not say whether you are the better for your trip or not.2

As usual, your abominable heresies were the means of getting me into all sorts of hot water at the Association—

Three parsons set upon you—and if you were the most malicious of men you could not have wished them to have made greater fools of themselves than they did3   They got considerably chaffed & that was all they were worth—

Ever | Yours faithfully | T. H. Huxley

Jermyn S

Sep. 28. 1869


The Darwins stayed at Caerdeon, Barmouth, Wales, from 12 June to 30 July 1869 (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)).
Huxley refers to three papers by Anglican clergymen delivered in the biology section of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. The papers were by Philip Freeman, Francis Orpen Morris, and James McCann. The papers and Huxley’s remarks were summarised in the Athenæum, 4 September 1869, p. 309. For Huxley’s dispute with McCann, see the letter from J. D. Hooker, 7 September 1869 and n. 4.


Athenæum. 1844. A few words by way of comment on Miss Martineau’s statement. No. 896 (28 December): 1198–9.


Will do his best on the tooth [sent by CD] but does not put much weight on conclusions based on a single tooth of a horse.

Darwin attacked by three clergymen at BAAS meeting [Exeter, 1869].

Letter details

Letter no.
Thomas Henry Huxley
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Jermyn St
Source of text
DAR 166: 321
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6914,” accessed on 22 June 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 17