RECORD: Galton, Francis. 1882.06.27. [Recollection of Darwin in a letter to Francis Darwin]. CUL-DAR198.73. Edited by John van Wyhe (Darwin Online,

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Christine Chua and John van Wyhe 4.2021. RN1

NOTE: See Darwin, C. R. 1874. [Answers to personal questionnaire]. In Francis Galton, English men of science, their nature and nurture, pp. 90, 105, 119, 130, 165, 256. F2059

Reproduced with permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library.


42 Rutland Gate

My dear Frank,

Your father's kind letters & notes to me are hardly of a character suitable for biography. They abound in sympathy a in too favourable estimate of my scientific work on the one hand, & of the value of any little matters. I might have done to him at his suggestion on the others. I had rather not send them, but I need not say how much I valued receiving them as signs of his great sympathy and acknowledgement of my long affection towards him. In fact, I never was in his company without feeling as in the presence chamber of a beloved sovereign.

There are however two papers & this accompanying letters which I enclose & which I think you will value. They are the replies to questions that I circulated in print to certain persons in 1873 & 1879. The first, on the "Antecedents of Scientific men" is particularly interesting & especially as regards the influences of school & college in the formation of his character. Shrewsbury may claim a share but you will see that he not only repudiates with the main exception of some learning of Euclid, any useful intellectual influences received there, but he condemns the education strongly. He is not so emphatic as regards Cambridge, but has often told me that the influences there received from Henslow were secondary & that the real dawn of love to solid scientific work was on board the Beagle, when feeling the responsibilities & opportunities of the new position.

The "Visualising' returns are of less value but may be acceptable.

I may say in respect to a suggestion in the covering letter that age may perhaps have much to do with [illeg] of the faculty, that I have found such not to be the case in any marked degree


Very sincerely yours

Francis Galton

P.S. Kindly return the papers when you have done with them. We go abroad in 10 days.

Pray remember us very kindly to your mother.

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