Item 7 - Letter from Brian Houghton Hodgson to J E Gray

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Letter from Brian Houghton Hodgson to J E Gray


  • 27 Dec 1844 (Creation)

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Canterbury Dec 27th 1844

J.E. Gray Esq
Keeper Zoological
Dept. British Museum


With reference to the series of my drawings presented to the British Museum I have the honour to state to you that in refering to my own original drawings, from which those above averted to were copied for transmission to England. I find these original drawings to be in number as follows
2/ Anatomical and quasi anatomical
1/ Mammals 94
Birds 14 108 Sheets

 Ordinary or Non-Anatomical Mammals

11 Bats 7 Sheets
Quadrapeds 245

111 Birds
Old and New Series 826 Sheets

1V Fishes, Snakes, Lizards 24 Sheets
Frogs and Tortoises

3/ Of the above a nearly complete series of nos 11 and 111 were transmitted to England in regular numerical order on the smaller scale of about 20 inches by 12 and previously there had been sent a more than half of a series of ruder execution and upon a much larger scale
4 of the anatomical series or No. 1 only portions were sent to England and frequently in conjunction with the drawing of the species in questions. So also of the series No 1V only a small portion was ever transmitted

5/ Nevertheless the total of drawings transmitted from India exceeded what would seem to have been received by you; and the deficiency in your series appears to be [?] great particularly in the smaller sized drawings that I am led to request you will be pleased to give to me a fresh and careful statement of all the Drawings you possess distinguished into greater and lesser sized ones, and with the additional information when and whence you received them
6/ you will kindly let me have this information as soon as possible in order that I may [institute?] inquiries myself at the several channels of transmission
7/ you have recently received from me 52 sheets of Birds [210] of Mammals and I have this day delivered to your Apt. 19 more sheets of Birds and 1 of Mammals. These which are the sequel of the small series and ought nearly to complete it be pleased to include in your statement as above requested. There can be no question that a considerable number of the drawings despatched from India is not forthcoming at present if I may judge by the rough memo left with me by you, for, my species amount to 823 as per margin and not to mention that the larger series of Drawings and began far advanced in the copying when the lesser series was began there was not only a complete series on the smaller scale transmitted to England (inclusive of those delivered at Canterbury as above noted) but also several repeated and amended delineations of the same in that series particularly among the quadrupeds, and, lastly, in the new and small series of Drawings there [?] more than one species delineated on the same sheets so that there should be on the whole pretty nearly usually as many sheets as species
I have the honor etc
B.H. Hodgson

[Notes in Margin]
Mammals 126
Birds 656
Mammals 47[1]

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