RECORD: Minching, W. 09.01.1883. [Recollections of Darwin.] CUL-DAR112.A85b-A85d (Darwin Online, http://darwin-online.org.uk/)

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Kees Rookmaaker 8.2008. RN1

NOTE: Editorial symbols used in the transcription:
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Reproduced with the permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library.


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[Archival number, upper right] 85b

[printed letterhead] Montgomery

9th January 1883

Dear Sir
I have seen two old schoolfellows of your late Father (at Shrewsbury;) one the Revd. R. M. White, Vicar of Churchstoke in this country, & the other my Cousin, W. C. L. Hughes of Liverpool, whom I mentioned in my previous letter; but neither can call to mind any incident of your father's life at Shrewsbury School of any especial interest. W.

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Hughes, however, recalls with pleasure, his intercourse with Mr Darwin at Buenos Ayres, when the Beagle touched there in 1833, - & his having met, at this same time, Capt. Fitzroy, Mr Bynoe, & the other officers of the ship.
I find that I was in error in saying I think Mr Darwin South American collections, or some of them, were placed in Mr Hughes charge for transmission to England.
The part was that on

[Archival number, upper right] 85c

his return to Liverpool, the Head of the Megatherium (one of those, I think, which are described in the 5th chapter of the Journal") was consigned to him for transmission to Professor Owen, and that after some difficulty he passed it through the Liverpool Custom House, free of duty, which the authorities there claimed on it!
Both Mr White, and Mr Hughes spoke of Dr Kennedy being "head boy" at

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Shrewsbury, when they and your father were school chums there, under Dr Butler.
Mr White who mentioned two brothers, who were there at the same time, - Horatio & James Hilligen but he has since lost sight of both.
I took the liberty of sending your letter to a friend of mine, Mr J. B. Barrett, of Welshport (where he, until recently, practised as a surgeon)

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[Archival number, upper right] 85d

- He knew Dr R. W. Darwin well, both professionally & otherwise; but did not know your father until his return to England in the Beagle - when he met him at Dr Darwin's house, at the channel, in Shrewsbury. - If he can in any way assist in the enquiries you are making, I am sure that you will hear from him.
I regret that my enquiries have not proved more successful - & that I do not, at personal, think of

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any others than those I have named, to whom to apply.
You may however rest assured that if I should hear of any facts bearing upon your fathers early life, that may be of interest to you, I will not fail to write.

Believe me to be, dear Sir, yours faithfully

W. Minching

Francis Darwin Esq. F.R.S.


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