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To William Erasmus Darwin   [26 February 1856]


Writes of WED’s progress at school and events at home.

Discusses pigeons, with which he is "getting on splendidly".

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Erasmus Darwin
Date:  [26 Feb 1856]
Classmark:  DAR 210.6: 8
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1804

From Thomas Vernon   Wollaston [February 1856]



Sends Madeira specimens, including frogs recently introduced into the island, and flourishing.

Author:  Thomas Vernon Wollaston
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [Feb 1856]
Classmark:  DAR 205.3: 299
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1806

To W. B. Tegetmeier   [1 February 1856]


Has been invited to see Mr Bult’s pigeons.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Date:  [1 Feb 1856]
Classmark:  Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1821

To William Yarrell   6 [February 1856]


"The Pigeons are all quite well".

Sends thanks to Mrs Cotton.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Yarrell
Date:  6 [Feb 1856]
Classmark:  Cleveland Health Sciences Library
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1829

To Samuel Birch   6 February [1856]


Is grateful for SB’s note and assistance. Will call upon him in London in a fortnight.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Samuel Birch
Date:  6 Feb [1856]
Classmark:  British Museum (Department of the Middle East, correspondence 1826–67: 1492)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1829A

From Charles James Fox Bunbury   7 February 1856


Has heard CD is much interested in questions relating to varieties and species. Mentions a case of a seminal variety of Colletia spinosa, described by John Lindley, which appears identical with another wild species of Colletia from S. America. Hopes CD will one day "enlighten us very much" on "the laws of species". There are many different views on the limits of species; M. F. Dunal made 50 species of Solanum which George Bentham considers are all varieties of S. nigrum.

Author:  Charles James Fox Bunbury, 8th baronet
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  7 Feb 1856
Classmark:  DAR 160: 374, DAR 205.4: 97
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1830

From Edward Blyth   23 February 1856


Opposition to EB within the Asiatic Society.

Possibility of establishment of a zoological garden at Calcutta.

Has seen Gallus varius alive for the first time.

Will procure domestic pigeons for CD; could CD pay for them by returning hardy creatures, such as macaws and marmosets, which EB can sell for a high price in India?

Does not recall his authority for genealogy of the asses of Oman. If a genuine wild ass exists EB believes it will be in south Arabia.

Infertility of Irish and Devon red deer.

Details of an unusual species of wild dog.

Fertility of canine hybrids. General tendency toward hybrid sterility.

Has skins of hybrid Coracias and the parent species.

Wide-ranging species; skua found in Europe and Australia, but not in the tropics.

Author:  Edward Blyth
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  23 Feb 1856
Classmark:  DAR 98: A128–A132
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1832

From Edward Blyth   26 February 1856


There is a possibility of establishment of a Government Museum at Calcutta, with which the Asiatic Society Museum would be merged. EB would like the curatorship but fears other possible applicants. Asks CD to represent him to W. H. Sykes.

Discusses the ancients’ awareness of various cats as deduced from the etymology of their names.

Author:  Edward Blyth
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  26 Feb 1856
Classmark:  DAR 98: A126–A127
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1833

To Miles Joseph Berkeley   29 February [1856]


Preparing paper on seed-soaking for Linnean Society ["Action of sea-water on seeds", Collected papers 1: 264–73]. Wants to use MJB’s results. Lost ardour when he found seeds would not float.

Has grown MJB’s purest pea seeds and got a few variants. Gärtner’s experiments suggest direct action of pollen, but CD thinks it is "mere variation".

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Miles Joseph Berkeley
Date:  29 Feb [1856]
Classmark:  Shropshire Archives (SA 6001/134/45)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1834

To Francis Galton    4 February [1856]


Can FG use his influence with Rev. [Erhardt] to get information about domesticated poultry in Africa for CD?

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Francis Galton
Date:  4 Feb [1856]
Classmark:  UCL Library Services, Special Collections (GALTON/1/1/9/5/7/4)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3059