RECORD: Rodwell, John Maurice. 1882.07.08. [Recollections of Darwin]. CUL-DAR112.A94-A95. Edited by John van Wyhe (Darwin Online,

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Kees Rookmaaker, edited by John van Wyhe 8.2008. RN3

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


[in another hand] J M Rodwell


S. Leonards on Sea

8 July/ 82

Dear Sir,

As every incident, however trifling in itself, becomes important when connected with the life of such a man as was your late father, I think it worthwhile to send you the following. - At one of Prof.r Henslows evening parties, your Father pointed out to see a passage from Claudian which the Professor had referred to, but was unable to quote in extenso, in his lecture of the previous morning, as one of exquisite beauty, & wh. your father had hunted out.

[Latin passage not transcribed]


(not having a Claudian at hand and writing from memory, I cannot be quite sure that I quote accurately, but you can easily identify the passage.) Your father remarked - "there were Botanists then before Linnaeus."

On another occasion, we were talking over one of Sedgwick lectures in wh. he had spoken of the enlarged views both of Time & Space what Geology could give. he said then - It strikes me that all our knowledge about the structure of our Earth is very much like what an old hen cd. know of the hundred-acre field in a corner of which she is scratching! - & afterwards, "what a capital hand is Sedgwick for drawing large cheques upon the Bank of Time!" - which of course was in reference to some speculation of Sedgwicks as to the probable antiquity of the world.


I am sorry to say that I have not yet been able to lay my hands upon the letters of your Fathers addressed to me at Broxbourne - should I however do so, or recover any other memoranda, I will not fail to forward them.

I am, dear Sir, yours faithfully

J M Rodwell

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