RECORD: Bates, Henry Walter. 1886.04.30. [Recollection of Darwin and Wallace's civil list pension]. CUL-DAR198.11. Edited by John van Wyhe (Darwin Online,

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Christine Chua and edited by John van Wyhe 4.2021. RN1

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


1, Savile Row,

Burlington Gardens, W.

April 30 1886

Dear Mr Darwin

In another envelope I send you the promised letters of your father. They are not all I have, for I have kept back some which contain nothing likely to interest your readers.

You are free to use whatever you propose for the purpose of your work: but the too complimenting expressions would be better curtailed or omitted.

I cannot find the notes I imagined he wrote about Xmas 1880 on the subject of his memorial to the Prime Minister on behalf of Mr Wallace, and I conclude that his first communication on the subject was not by letter, but that he called & asked me to be the intermediary during the Xmas Holidays in passing the memorial on to the gentlemen who come to sign it of whom he left me a list, & to get Lord Aberdeen's signature on Geographical grounds.

A delay having afterwards occurred owing to Dr Hooker being out of town & not returning the memorial, then came an agonized note from your Father saying that he was afraid the opportunity was now lost. This may have been a postcard which I cannot find.

The glacial argument puzzled me a good deal, as I had very nearly forgotten all about it. After searching I have found the enclosed, which must be the paper your father's words apply to. The argument I used must be now very familiar to biologists. Those Belt got over the difficulty by his ingenious polar ice-cap flowering-of-the-sea theory.

Yours sincerely

H W Bates

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