Wallace Letters Online

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Record number: WCP4990

Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
John Hampden
21 January 1870

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, 9 St Mark's Crescent, Regent's Park, London, N.W. to John Hampden [none given] on 21 January 1870.

Record created:
04 February 2013 by Catchpole, Caroline


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Hampden, John. (1870). Is Water Level Or Convex After All? The Bedford Canal Swindle Detected & Exposed, Etc. [With Reference to the Controversy Between John Hampden and Alfred Russel Wallace.].. Alfred Bull. 1-17. [p. 14-15]

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[[1]]1 [p. 14]

"9, St. Mark's Crescent, N.W., January 21st, 1870.

"Sir,--I have ascertained that the Editor of the "Field" is willing to act as referee in the matter between us. I have to propose therefore that we each place £500 at once in Coutts' Bank, 95, Strand, with instructions that, up to March 1st next, it is only to be paid to the order of one of us, on a cheque signed by Mr. John Henry Walsh, the Editor of the "Field," who has an account at Coutts'. After that date the money to be at our own disposal, which will be the case if any unforeseen circumstance over which we have no control, prevent the trial being made.

[[2]] [p. 15], "By this means the money will be perfectly safe. The reason I ask for its being deposited at once, is, that I must go to some expense and considerable trouble in getting a telescope and other necessary instruments, and in finding a suitable spot, and as the time you have named is short, I must begin at once, and cannot do without the certainty that the trial will come off.

"I may state that the Editor of the "Field" is a perfect stranger to me.

"I remain, yours very faithfully,


"I believe the Bedford River near Downham Market, Norfolk will have to be the place. The "Field" will publish the result of the experiment.--A.R.W."


1. Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: A set of eight letters from Wallace to flat-earther John Hampden, concerning the Bedford Canal experiment. Also included is their Memorandum of Agreement. These constituted the last several pages of a pamphlet by Hampden (?) entitled Is Water Level or Convex After All


This transcript originates from Charles H. Smith’s The Alfred Russel Wallace Page website (http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/index1.htm): See http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S179AA.htm

Please note that work on this transcript is not yet complete. Users are advised to study electronic image(s) of this document, if available.