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To ?   9 October [1856]


Thanks for offer of Helix for experiment. Asks for assistance. Mentions failure of his own experiment involving Helix pomatia.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Unidentified
Date:  9 Oct [1856]
Classmark:  Houghton Library, Harvard University (Autograph File, D)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1972

From John Higgins   17 November 1856


Mr Hardy, CD’s tenant at Beesby, has spent £105 on improvements to the farm. JH suggests different ways of recompensing the tenant, and asks for CD’s decision.

Author:  John Higgins
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  17 Nov 1856
Classmark:  Lincolnshire Archives (HIG/4/2/1/98)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1026F

To John Murray   20 November [1856–7]


Thanks for gift [of books requested in 1026]. Sale is a good deal more than he had anticipated.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Murray
Date:  20 Nov [1856-7]
Classmark:  National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms.42153 ff.54–55)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1028

From George Bentham   2 December [1856]


Cites cases of leguminous plants whose cleistogamic flowers produce more seed than perfect flowers. [See Forms of flowers, p. 326.]

Author:  George Bentham
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  2 Dec [1856]
Classmark:  DAR 111: A75–6
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-11267

From W. D. Fox   19 December [1856]



Informs CD that in his experience with peas he has never found the seed to deteriorate.

Author:  William Darwin Fox
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  19 Dec [1856]
Classmark:  DAR 77: 170
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-11799

To Albany Hancock   25 May [1856]


Wants accurate information on "the economy of nature". Is interested in how far the struggle with other species checks the northern range of any species.

Thanks John Storey for information.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Albany Hancock
Date:  25 May [1856]
Classmark:  J. Hancock 1886, pp. 277–8
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1332

To R. H. Bakewell   30 April [1856–68]


Thanks for case of inherited malconformation.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Robert Hall Bakewell
Date:  30 Apr [1856-68]
Classmark:  Christie’s (dealers) (4 June 2008)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-13770F

To J. D. Hooker   9 May [1856]



Lyell urges CD to publish a sketch of species theory; CD asks JDH’s opinion on best course.

Concerned about opposition, particularly by Owen, to Huxley’s admission to Athenaeum.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  9 May [1856]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 161
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1870

To E. W. V. Harcourt   9 May [1856]


Has seen EWVH’s list of the birds of Madeira, and would like to know more about the ‘occasional visitants’.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Edward William Vernon Harcourt
Date:  9 May [1856]
Classmark:  Bodleian Libraries, Oxford (MS. Harcourt dep. adds. 346, fols. 248–9)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1870F

To C. J. F. Bunbury   9 May [1856]


On geographical dispersal of plants. Would be interested in CJFB’s views on representative species and on his hypothesis of a mundane cold period, which CD cannot prove geologically, but thinks, if it explains many facts of geographical distribution, may be admitted as probable. Hooker and Alphonse de Candolle do not agree with him.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles James Fox Bunbury, 8th baronet
Date:  9 May [1856]
Classmark:  Suffolk Record Office, Bury St Edmunds (Bunbury Family Papers E18/700/1/9/6)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1871

To Henry Ambrose Oldfield   10 May [1856]


Asks HAO about breeds of Tibetan dogs and other domesticated animals.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Henry Ambrose Oldfield
Date:  10 May [1856]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.128)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1872

To W. B. Tegetmeier   11 May [1856]


Thanks WBT for help with pigeons and poultry.

Will probably be away at the time of Anerley show.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Date:  11 May [1856]
Classmark:  Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1873

To J. D. Hooker   11 May [1856]



CD is unsure about JDH’s recommendation that he publish a separate "Preliminary Essay". It is unphilosophical to publish without full details.

CD will work for Huxley’s admission to Athenaeum.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  11 May [1856]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 162
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1874

To S. P. Woodward   15 May [1856]


Thanks for Supplement to SPW’s Manual of the Mollusca [1851–6]. Praises SPW’s work. "What an amount of labour is condensed in your little volume! … I fully believe & hope that you will reap the only reward worth having, the consciousness that you have done good service to the cause of Science."

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Samuel Pickworth Woodward
Date:  15 May [1856]
Classmark:  Sotheby’s (dealers) (21 March 1966)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1875

To J. D. Hooker   21 [May 1856]



Huxley’s "vehement" [Royal Institution?] Lectures make it difficult to propose him for Athenaeum.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  21 [May 1856]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 163
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1876

To J. W. Lubbock   27 May [1856]


Asks JWL to use his influence to forward the appointment of T. H. Huxley to the Examinership in Physiology and Comparative Anatomy at University of London. Gives details of THH’s qualifications.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John William Lubbock, 3d baronet
Date:  27 May [1856]
Classmark:  The Royal Society (LUB: D23)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1877

To T. H. Huxley   27 May [1856]


Has written very strong notes to Lord Overstone and Sir J. W. Lubbock and hopes they will be of service to THH.

Acknowledges receipt of THH’s lecture [unidentified].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Thomas Henry Huxley
Date:  27 May [1856]
Classmark:  Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine Archives (Huxley 5: 174)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1878

To S. P. Woodward   27 May [1856]


Thanks for answer to query. "I see … that there is no hope of comparing the same genus at two different periods, and seeing whether the tendency to vary is greater at one period in such genus than at another period."

Inclined to dispute SPW’s doctrine that islands are generally ancient. Doubts that they are remnants of continents.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Samuel Pickworth Woodward
Date:  27 May [1856]
Classmark:  Natural History Museum, Library and Archives (General Special Collections DC AL 1/5)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1879

To John William Lubbock   28 [June 1856 – January 1865?]


Regrets he cannot accept dinner invitation.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John William Lubbock, 3d baronet
Date:  28 [June 1856 - Jan 1865]
Classmark:  The Royal Society (LUB: D26)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1880

To W. B. Tegetmeier   31 May [1856]


Wants good rabbit specimens. Will be in London on 21 June and can pick up some pigeons.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Date:  31 May [1856]
Classmark:  Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1882
Document type
letter (256)
Darwin, C. R.disabled_by_default
Hooker, J. D. (39)
Tegetmeier, W. B. (24)
Lyell, Charles (12)
Lubbock, John (10)
Woodward, S. P. (10)
Fox, W. D. (9)
Gray, Asa (8)
Huxley, T. H. (8)
Watson, H. C. (8)
Harcourt, E. W. V. (7)
Blyth, Edward (6)
Henslow, J. S. (6)
Wollaston, T. V. (6)
Bunbury, C. J. F. (5)
Dana, J. D. (5)
Bentham, George (4)
Darwin, W. E. (4)
Eyton, T. C. (4)
Mantell, W. B. D. (4)
Berkeley, M. J. (3)
Birch, Samuel (3)
Edmondston, Laurence (3)
Gray, J. E. (3)
Lubbock, J. W. (b) (3)
Andersson, C. J. (2)
Bosquet, J. A. H. de (2)
Daniell, W. F. (2)
Darwin, G. H. (2)
Davidson, Thomas (2)
Davy, John (2)
Gosse, P. H. (2)
Herbert, J. M. (2)
Higgins, John (2)
Layard, E. L. (2)
Murray, John (b) (2)
Phillips, John (2)
Babington, C. C. (1)
Bakewell, R. H. (1)
Brent, B. P. (1)
Covington, Syms (1)
Dickie, George (1)
Elliot, Walter (1)
Everest, Robert (1)
Falconer, Hugh (1)
Galton, Francis (1)
Gardeners’ Chronicle (1)
Gulliver, George (1)
Gurney, J. H. (1)
Hancock, Albany (1)
Harvey, W. H. (1)
Holland, Miss (1)
Horner, K. M. (1)
Horner, Leonard (1)
Hutton, Thomas (1)
Lowe, R. T. (1)
Lubbock, Harriet (1)
Lyell, K. M. (1)
Morris, John (1)
Norman, Ebenezer (1)
Oldfield, H. A. (1)
Reed, G. V. (1)
Richardson, John (1)
Robillard, Victor de (1)
Royal Society of London (1)
Sabine, Edward (1)
Secretary, Royal Society (1)
Spencer, Herbert (1)
Stainton, H. T. (1)
Thompson, John (1)
Thwaites, G. H. K. (1)
Unidentified (1)
Wallace, Peter (1)
Wedgwood, F. E. E. (1)
Wedgwood, Godfrey (1)
Westwood, J. O. (1)
Yarrell, William (1)
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