RECORD: Darwin, C. R. & A. R. Wallace. 1858. Proceedings of the meeting of the Linnean Society held on July 1st, 1858. Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society. Zoology 3: liv-lvi.

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by John van Wyhe and Kees Rookmaaker 11.2011. RN1

NOTE: This is the text from the Proceedings of the Linnean Society containing the report of the meeting where the papers by Wallace and Darwin were read on 1 July 1858, announcing the theory of evolution by natural selection to the public for the first time. It was bound together with the Journal of the Linnean Society, both Zoology and Botany. Another version, taken from the manuscript minutes, was published in 1908 and is available on Darwin Online here. See Darwin and Wallace 1858 for the complete publication. See also Life and letters vol. 2. Note that "October 1857" is a mistake for September. The error was corrected in the final printing.


July 1st, 1858.

Special Meeting.

Thomas Bell, Esq., President, in the Chair.

The meeting having been specially summoned for the Election of a Member of Council in place of Robert Brown, Esq., V.P., deceased, George Bentham, Esq., was elected a Member of Council in his place.


The President nominated George Bentham, Esq., to be a Vice-President in the place of Robert Brown, Esq., for the ensuing year.

It was moved by Sir C. Lyell, seconded by Mr. Bennett, and resolved unanimously: —

"That this Meeting desires most emphatically to record its deep sense of the eminent services rendered by the late Robert Brown, Esq., both to the Linnean Society and to Botanical Science, by the entire devotion of a long life and of talents of the highest order, to the promotion of the great objects for which the Society was formed.

"That it looks back with heartfelt satisfaction to the long period of sixty years, during which Mr. Brown was connected with the Society, as an Associate, as Librarian, as a Fellow, as a Vice-President, and as President; and is profoundly sensible of the honour which the Society has derived from its long and intimate connexion with so great a master in Botanical Science.

"That while thus recording its high appreciation of the eminent talents of this great man, and of their successful application to the pursuits of Natural Science, this Meeting cannot refrain from also paying a just tribute to the simple-hearted benevolence of disposition, the high moral purity of mind, and the unswerving rectitude of judgment, which formed the most striking distinctions of his individual character.

"That, influenced by these various considerations, this Meeting deeply deplores the loss which the Linnean Society and Natural Science have sustained by the death of so distinguished, and at the same time so estimable, a man."

Read, first, a Letter from Sir Charles Lyell, F.L.S., and Dr. J. D. Hooker, F.L.S., addressed to the Secretary, as introductory to the following Papers on the laws which affect the production of Varieties, Races, and Species, viz.: —

1. An "Extract from a MS. work on Species, by Charles Darwin, Esq., F.R.S., F.L.S., &c., sketched in 1839 and copied in 1844."

2. An "Abstract of a Letter addressed by Mr. Darwin to Professor Asa Gray, of Boston, U.S., in October 1857."

3. An "Essay on the Tendency of Varieties, &c. to depart


indefinitely from the Original Type," by A. R. Wallace, Esq. (For these Papers, see "Zoological Proceedings," vol. iii. p. 45.)

Read, secondly, "Notes on the Organization of Pharonis Hippocrepis;'' by F. D. Dyster, Esq., M.D., F.L.S. (See "Transactions," vol. xxii.)

Read, thirdly, "Observations on the Metamorphosis of Ammocoetus;" by — Highley, Esq. Communicated by the President.

Read, fourthly, a "Description of Hanburya, a new genus of Cucurbitaceae;" by Berthold Seemann, Esq., Ph.D., F.L.S.

Read, fifthly, a MS. Memoir by the late Professor Pavon, entitled "Nueva Quinologia;" with observations by John Eliot Howard, Esq., F.L.S.

Read, sixthly, two Letters "On the Vegetation of the Portuguese territories in Western Africa," addressed to William Wilson Saunders, Esq., V.P.L.S., by Dr. Friedrich Welwitsch. (See "Botanical Proceedings," vol. iii.)

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