RECORD: Darwin, C. R. 1883. [Letter to Peter Price]. Naturalists' Society. Western Mail  no. 4337 (6 April): 4.

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed and edited by John van Wyhe 2015. RN2

NOTE: See record in the Freeman Bibliographical Database, enter its Identifier here.

This letter fragment and correspondent were not previously recorded. With thanks to Rosemary Clarkson. This letter was later published in Correspondence vol. 29, p. 450.

[page] 4



NATURALISTS' SOCIETY.— A members' night in connection with the Naturalists' Society was held at the Town-hall, Cardiff, on Thursday evening, when the ex-president took the chair. [...]

Mr. Peter Price drew attention to the theory of Darwin as to the vast amount of work accomplished by worms in the ground in changing the physical features of the land, and attributed the dilapidation and unsteady state of the third pier from the west end on the north side of the nave to Llandaff Cathedral, which he discovered some years ago, to this cause. He had received an autograph letter from Darwin on this point. The great naturalist said that "worms certainly do work at a depth of four or five feet from the surface, but only when the earth is damp, and the state of the pier could not be attributed to their action if the soil was dry." Mr. Price said that as the cathedral was in ruins, and exposed to rains for years, and the pier in question was 450 or 500 years old, the theory was a tenable one. A vote of thanks was also passed to Mr. Price, and the meeting separated.

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

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