RECORD: Galton. Francis. 1882.04.20. Letter to George Howard Darwin. CUL-DAR215.7h. Edited by John van Wyhe (Darwin Online,

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Christine Chua and edited by John van Wyhe 11.2021. RN1

NOTE: See record in the Darwin Online manuscript catalogue, enter its Identifier here. Reproduced with permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library and William Huxley Darwin.

"Galton, Sir Francis, 1822 Feb. 16-1911 Jan. 17. Polymath, traveller, travel writer, eugenicist and statistician. 7th and last child of Samuel Tertius G and Frances Anne Violetta Darwin. CD's half-first cousin. G was a voluminous writer on many topics. Biography: K. Pearson, 4 vols., 1914-30; D.W. Forrest, 1974. Archive calendar: M. Merrington and J. Golden, 1976. Complete works at 1839 Late Oct. or early Nov. visited CD at Upper Gower Street when a student at King's College Hospital. 1840 Oct. Went to Trinity College, Cambridge. 1853 Married Louisa Jane Butler s.p. 1860 FRS. 1869-71 Experiments with transfusion of rabbit's blood to test CD's theory of pangenesis proved unsuccessful. 1869 Hereditary genius. 1873 G sent CD a questionnaire on education and background. In 1870 Jan. 8-10, ED recorded his stay. Mr. Rouse who came a day earlier on Jan. 7, left also on Jan. 10. Between 1873-81, his visits were also noted in ED's diary. After that G visited ED 1884-95, the last entry in 1895 May 14. 1874 English men of science. 1879 CD answered G's questions on the faculty of visualising for Inquiries into human faculty, 1883, "I am inclined to agree with Francis Galton in believing that education and environment produce only a small effect on the mind of anyone, and that most of our qualities are innate".  Autobiography, p. 43. 1883 Inquiries into human faculty and its development. 1908 Autobiography. 1909 Kt. Buried at St. Michael and All Angels Churchyard, Warwickshire. Recollections of CD in DAR112.A52-A53 and 1909. Memories of my life, pp. 287-88, 169, both transcribed in Darwin Online." (Paul van Helvert & John van Wyhe, Darwin: A Companion, 2021)


42 Rutland Gate Sth

April 20.82

My dear George

I hardly know how to write, feeling overwhelmed at the thought that I shall never see your father's kindly face and hear his genial voice again.

There is no man whom I reverenced or to whom I owed more, spiritually, than to him. His origin of species first put me so to speak in harmony


with Nature, and every one of his subsequent works has left an abiding mark upon me. I love his character more that that of any man; so free from petty weakness so wholly truthful, so generous, helpful & sympathetic. Pray convey this to your mother with expression of heartfelt sympathy with her in her crushing affliction.

My wife wholly joins me in this. It must be a singularly gratifying retrospect to your mother to know how largely she contributed by her watchful care in prolonging the working life of your father and in fending off distractions and worries. How much the world owes to her patient & constant solicitude.

You will have received a telegram from the President of the Royal Society & I


sincerely trust in reply that the consent of the family will be given to interment in Westminster Abbey, by the side of other great Englishmen who have passed away. The feeling of scientific men is deeply touched.

Pray then accept and give our united sincere sympathy to all the members of your family and believe me affectly yours

Francis Galton

George Darwin Esq

This document has been accessed 826 times

Return to homepage

Citation: John van Wyhe, ed. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (

File last updated 25 September, 2022