RECORD: Newton, Alfred. 1882.04.23. Letter to George Howard Darwin. CUL-DAR215.7j. 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.

"Newton, Alfred, 1829-1907. Ornithologist. Biography: A.F.R. Wollaston, Life of Alfred Newton, 1921. 1858 the retrospective account by N that he was converted by the Darwin-Wallace paper is contradicted by contemporary letters. 1860 H.B. Tristram to N, "The infallibility of the God Darwin and his prophet Huxley". 1865 Oct. 29 CD to N declining to write a testimonial for the Cambridge Chair on the grounds that N knew only about birds. CCD13. 1866-1907 First Prof. Zoology and Comparative Anatomy Cambridge. 1870 FRS. 1870 Feb. 9 CD to N; N, Swinhoe, Hooker and Günther spent Sunday 23 Jan. at Down House. ED recorded in 1870 Jan. 22 "Frank Mr Newton Gunther Swinhoe". 1870 May 23 CD visited N at Cambridge Museum. 1881 CD and ED took tea with N at Cambridge. 1882 N was on "Personal Friends invited" list for CD's funeral. The next record in ED's diary was in 1883 Dec. 1 where N, Huxleys, M. Forsters and A. Sedgwick dined. From 1884-96, he would have further dinners with ED with the last visit on 1896 May 25." (Paul van Helvert & John van Wyhe, Darwin: A Companion, 2021)



23 April 1882.

My dear George Darwin,

My letter has crossed yours which reached me this morning & I thank you much for taking the trouble of writing. It was unfortunate that you should be (as I gather from what you say) too late, but it must be a consolation that few were returned to England.

So far as I have heard, there is only an opinion, that the funeral ought to be in the Abbey


If so, I hope I may be allowed to attend it.

Again I assure you & all your family – but especially Francis who must feel the loss very acutely – of my most sincere sympathy.

Yours very Truly

Alfred Newton

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

File last updated 16 January, 2023