Testimonials of Adam White

An introduction by R. B. Freeman

Adam White, 1817-1879, was an Assistant in the Zoology Department of the British Museum from 1835 to 1863, specializing in Crustacea and insects. He wrote about a dozen books several of a popular nature. In 1854 he applied for the Chair of Natural History at Edinburgh and collected testimonials, including one from Darwin, to support his application. He withdrew when he heard that Edward Forbes had also applied. In 1863, he resigned from the Museum with mental illness and returned to his native Edinburgh. He had the testimonials reprinted with additions in the following year, intending to apply for natural history lecturing. Roland Trimen's reminiscences in 1859 to Edward Poulton "I was at work in the next compartment to that in which Adam White sat, and heard someone come in and a cheery mellow voice say 'Good-morning Mr. White; - I am afraid you won't speak to me any more' … Ah, Sir! if ye had only stopped with the Voyage of the Beagle!" – Poulton, Darwin and the Origin, p. 214, 1909. 1877 Darwin to Gunther "that poor and creature" – Further unpublished letters, p. 96, 1960. For a general note on these printed testimonials see F324, Brayley Testimonials.

Testimonials of Adam White, F.L.S., Assistant in the Zoological Department, British Museum. [1854], p. 15.

Darwin, C. R. 1865. [Testimonial]. In Testimonials in favour of Mr. Adam White, during twenty-five years Assistant in the Zoology Department, British Museum; corresponding member of the Linnean Society of Lyons, of the Stettin Entomological Society etc. Edinburgh: Thomas Constable, p. 10. Text Image Text & image F345b


From: Freeman, R. B. 1977. The works of Charles Darwin: an annotated bibliographical handlist. 2d ed. Dawson: Folkstone.

NOTE: With thanks to The Charles Darwin Trust and Dr Mary Whitear for use of the Bibliographical Handlist. Copyright. All rights reserved. For private academic use only. Not for republication or reproduction in whole or in part without the prior written consent of The Charles Darwin Trust, 31 Baalbec Road, London N5 1QN.

Corrections and additions copyright John van Wyhe, The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online - National University of Singapore.


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