|Richard Owen's signature is clearly seen on the bottom-left corner of the envelope.||Embossed crest of the British Museum from the reverse side of the envelope|
His Ex. Gov.
Sir Henry Barkly, K.C.B,
Cape of Good Hope
|The stamps from the top-right corner of the cover are:|
|Queen Victoria - "Two pence and half penny" stamp, Great Britain 1875, MiNr.: 40, Scott: 66, SG: 138.||
Queen Victoria - "Penny red" stamp, Great Britain 1864,
MiNr.: 16, Scott: 33, SG: 43.
The plural of penny is pence when referring to an amount of money, but
pennies when referring to a number of coins.
Thus 6d is six pence, but "six pennies" means specifically six individual penny coins.
A duplex canceller was a hand stamp used to cancel postage stamp with obliterator (the oval shape)
and imprint a dated postmark applied simultaneously with the one device.
The main purpose of the obliterator was to clearly cancel the stamps so as to prevent any re-use.
The device had a steel die, generally circular, which printed the location of the cancel, together with the time and date of cancel.
This die was held in place by a handle with an obliteration marker, often oval shaped, off to the right side that was applied over the postage stamp to prevent its reuse.
Later on, postal authorities around the world started to use cancellations with slogans, images, or even simple wavy lines. These cancellations still prevent the re-use of stamps, but don't obscure their images.
|Duplex cancellations over postage stamps of tbe envelope.||An example of the duxplex device|
|Postmark of London||Postmark of Cape Town|
|The receipt and reply dates, written by Sir Henry Barkly|
|Accountancy Mark of 3 pence|
On July 1st 1876, the rate of letters with weight not exceeding 1/2 oz (1 oz or 1 ounce is equal 28.35gr) to Cape of Good Hope was reduced from 1 Shilling (1s) to 6 Pence (6d). Financial inter-relationships between the Post Offices of various countries, as well as of the imperial centers and their colonies, were very complex in this period.
|Sir Richard Owen on stamp from Souvenir-Sheet of Montserrat 1992. MiNr.: 837 (Bl. 63), Scott: 794|
In one of the letters to Owen, sent on 26th March, 1848, Charles Darwin wrote [R8]:
"When next I come to town ..., I must call on you, & report for my own satisfaction, ... you cannot tell how much I enjoyed my talk with you here.
Ever, my dear Owen | Yours sincerely | C. Darwin"
|Portrait of Sir Henry Barkly, 1886. Artist William Macleod, (1850-1929). Image credit Victorian Collection|
Henry Barkly (24 February 1815 – 20 October 1898) was a British politician, colonial governor, and patron of the sciences.
In November 1856, Barkly was appointed Governor of Victoria, Australia, arriving in Melbourne on 24 December 1856.
He achieved one of his main goals of stable government with the appointment of the James McCulloch ministry. He was noted for his support of philanthropic and intellectual movements. Sir Henry Barkly was a founder and president of the Royal Society of Victoria, 1860–63, and helped to found the National Gallery of Victoria, the Acclimatization Society and the National Observatory.
From 26 November 1863 to 4 June 1870 Barkly was appointed 10th Governor of Mauritius .
In August 1870 he was sent to the Cape of Good Hope as Governor of Cape Colony and as British High Commissioner for Southern Africa.
Henry Barkly helped to implement responsible government in the Cape and worked closely with John Molteno, its first elected Prime Minister. He served in South Africa until 1877 and played an important role in assisting the early growth of the Cape Liberal tradition.
Henry Barkly had a lifelong interest in statistics and the in natural sciences. He was willing to accept evolution in the plant and animal kingdom but expressed horror at the idea of mankind's simian origins.
Like many other leading figures of that time, Sir Barkly addressed evolution as an unproven if compelling hypothesis.
Thomas Charles John Bain (1830-1893), was a prolific road engineer.
He was one of three sons of Andrew Bain, accompanied his farther as a boy, on his trips to the Karoo and helped his farther to search and dig for fossils. He gets a passion for fossils digging and sent many of them to the British Museum in London.
Andrew Geddes Bain (1797-1864), father of Thomas Bain (A. Bain had 3 sons and 7 daughters), was a South African geologist, borne in Scotland, road engineer, palaeontologist and explorer.
Since 1838 he sent many fossils to the British Museum in London. Several fossil specimens were known on honour of him by Richard Owen. In 1864, Andrew Bain was granted sick leave to visit England, where he was entertained by Professor Richard Owen and Sir Roderick Murchison, who served as director-general of the British Geological Survey from 1855 until his death in 1871. (Sir Roderick Impey Murchison (1792-1871), is noted for investigating and describing the Silurian, Devonian and Permian systems.)
|The fossil was discovered in Triassic deposits of the Sneewberg range by Thomas G. Bain, mentioned in his letter to Henry Barkly on May 21st 1876. It was assigned by Richard Owen to Dicynodont. Plate LII from "Descriptive and illustrated catalogue of the Fossil Reptilia of South Africa in the collection of the British Museum".|
My dear Sir,
Having read with much interest an Article in the last Cape Monthly - extracted from the 'Proceeding of the London Geological Society' - on the subject of a discovery by Professor Owen of species of Carnivorous reptiles amongst specimens of Karoo Saurians sent to the Society by my Farther from time to time, it may not be out of place on my part to mention to you, for the information of Professor Owen, that in my frequent rambles through the Karoo, I have placed my marks on - I may say - scores of fine specimens which were unfortunately out of my power to dig out & to carry along with me, as I generally travel with a light Cart, & am unprepared to exhume such monsters as some of them are.
Some time ago you were good enough to send me for perusal a letter you had received from Professor Owen on the receipt by him of a fossil arm or paddle I sent you from Gray Reinet, & in that letter he mentioned that these was a very scanty collection of South African Saurians in the British Museum, & seemed anxious that should be augmented .
If the Professor would authorise a small Outlay, I would undertake provided the Government would grant me a couple of months leave of Absence - to go with a Bullock Wagon to the Karoo to make a large collection for the Museum, out of which Professor Owen may probably prosecute his discoveries still further.
The months of September & October are the best for Ox-wagon traveling in the region where fossils are most abundant.
My dear Sir,
|Landscape of Karoo region on stamps of South Africa 2013, 2014 and 2017. MiNr.: 2229, 2340, 2495; Scott: 1497a, 1529b, ? .|
Skeleton of Dicynodont on the cachet of FDC with one of the stamps from prehistoric animals of Karoo formation set of South Africa 1982.
Thomas Bain discovered fossils of Dicynodonts at Graaf Reinet, the place where he was born.
My dear Professor Owen
I have delayed thanking you for your letter of 19th November last in the hope that I might be in a position to forward to you the remainder of the skeleton of the Dicynodon which Mr. Thomas Bain promised me to get dug out.
That hope as you will see by a letter from him which I enclose has proven vain. My object in sending his communication, however is to bring to your notice his offer to give the benefit of his knowledge of the Karoo Region when these Secondary fossils  are found in collecting a large number of them, provided the expenses of this trip could be paid. You will see from a second communication, which I likewise forward, that he estimates the latter at a nett sum of £180 & I feel sure that this outlay would be abundantly repaid in a scientific point of view if the Funds can be found.
I do not know whether the Trustees of the British Museum would feel justified in incutting it, or whelther the Geological Society, of the British Association would join in the work, but it seems as well that you should be made acquainted the proposal. You will see that if anything is to be lone this year, an early reply will be needed, as in that dry country traveling is more easy in September or October than any other season I shall be happy to do all in my power to facilitate the expedition.
Your very faithfully,
P.S. I'm sorry to say the proofs of the Engravings of Reptilian forms which you mentioned being sent me by bookpost, never reached me. H.B.
The draft of the letter sent by Richard Owen to Sir Henry Barkly in July 5th 1876 as answer
on Sir Henry Barkly letter from June 6th 1876.
This draft letter is in collection of Natural History Museum in London, (Owen Collection 2:155/6).
Letter of 5th July 1876
Sent same date
Dear Sir Henry
I have to return your special thanks for your letter (6th June 76) of friendly sympathy, with my favorite researches & its enclosed
(21 May, 31 May, 2nd June)
correspondence between yourself and Mr. Bain, which opens out a prospect of rich additions to our evidences of the extinct animals of the Karoo beds.
If the few proofs of figures of those fossils, which I posted to you [???] not already have come to hand they will have been superseded by the Plates ([???] they were taken of the Catalogue of the Fossil Reptilia of South Africa, a copy of which presented to your Ex. by the Trustees of the British Museum will, I [???] this, have [???] you through W. G. Atherstone, Geological Survey.
The liberal compliments of the Trustees with my wishes will also have applied W. J. B. and the principal Museums of the Colony, with copies of the same work, which I trust will facilitate the recognition of the future specimens and accelerate the complete restauration of the truly singular forms of ‘Reptilia’ of the Karoo series in your Government.
Your Excellencies personal interest in this line of research is an important element in its success, I have this day sent in with pictures a Report on Mr. Bain’s liberal offer of his services and simply recommended an application to the Treasury for a special grant of £200  to defray the cost of collection and transport of the fossils from the Karoo District. On the result of this recommendation I will immediately acquaint your Ex, and hope to receive an affirmative position in time to enable Mr. Bain to avail himself of this year’s travelling season.
It will be a pleasure for me to deliver you the series of the South African fossils now relived from their matrix to displayed in our Geological Gallery. They normally excite deep interest, and have tended to dissipate some singular mistakes to their mammalian nature of fossils from the Permian Beds of the Oural  ; being as described [???], as such, by Russian Paleontologists .
Besides the Oural I have traced out indications of the characteristic Karoo forms from Nova Scotia to central India always at or neear the geological design of the Beaufort, [??? Koonaps] and Karoo series.
With such unexpected acquisitions, in later years, one cannot help being impressed, with the great proportion of the unknown, awaiting recognition, and other initialising characters of [???] actual discoveries.
[???] truly yours
The draft of the letter sent by Richard Owen to the Trustees of the British Museum on July 5th 1876.
This draft letter is in collection of Natural History Museum in London, (Owen Collection 2:157/8).
Draught of report on S. Afr. Fossils.
Department of Nat. History 5 July 1876
Professor Owen has the honor to submit to the Trustees the accompanying letter (Ss238) from His Excellencies Governour Sir Henry Barkly, dated Government House, Cape Town, 6th June 1896, with an enclosed correspondence (Ss239, Ss240, Ss241) of the respective dates of 21st May, 31st May & 23rd June, in which Thomas Bain Esq. Colonial Surveyor of Roads in the Colony of Cape Town, submits to the Govenor a proposition to collect & transport to Cape Town a collection of fossils which he has discovered and marked in the Triassic deposits of the Karoo district of the Cape of Good Hope, provided the cost of such collection & transport be defrayed, which will not exceed £200  .
From the experience of the results of the award of £150, by the Trustees in 1852, to the late Mr. Andrew Gedder Bain, who has been succeeded in his office at the Cape by his son Mr. Thomas Bain, it may be confidently expected that additions will accrue to the Geological Survey, equal at least in [????], rarity & value to the subjects of the "Catalogue of South Africa Fossils" recently published.
Professor Owen anticipates that particulars of the organisations of many new types of Reptilian hitherto [???] only by cranial & dental characters, will be will be supplied by the collections so proposal to be obtained & [???] aurmitted and he wants [???] observe that it is only by encouraging & taking advantage of such opportunities that the complete restoration of these rare & strange [????] to animal [???] can be effected.
Professor Owen would remark that the former grant by the Trustees to Mr. A. G. Bain, was supplemented by a special grant authorised by the Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel.
[???] thus the present claims upon, & liabilities of, the unusual grant to the Department of Geology, [???] preclude the deduction therefrom of the sum required for enabling Mr. Bain to fulfil his laborious procedures for the enrichment of the Department. Professor Owen though recommends to the favorable consideration of the Trustees an application for a special grant of £200  for the purpose proposed by Mr. T. Bain & His Exc. The Govenor of the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope.
"... I have collected about 280 heads in all, mostly small ones, but I trust,
none the less interesting on that account, as they are generally in better preservation
than the large ones.
I have also taken out the almost entire skeleton belonging to the large head Sir. H. Barkly wrote to you about, which I discovered about eighteen months ago; and I have got a quantity of large bones (some very fine specimens) together with portions of the skulls belonging to them, showing by the teeth their species.
I have also got some very fine vertebrae of large reptiles, and some fossil wood of different kinds to show what the Karoo beds contained in former ages. ..."
Sir Richard Owen's wife died in 1873 and his son committed suicide in 1886. None of the grandchildren followed him into science nor did any have any understanding of his accomplishments.Many of these letters and manuscripts were sold by him, as he seemed convinced by the consensus of science that Owen's work was of little value and hardly worthy of recall.
Essentially Arduino was able to work out the age relationships between different rock units in northern Italy
(and Werner was able to do the same in central and southern Germany).
They both recognized an older set of crystalline rocks that were overlain by younger rocks including various types of sedimentary rocks using the basic principle of superposition.
Werner's contribution was that he tried to fit all of the Earth History that the Primary to Tertiary rocks into a world ocean model - which is essentially trying to fit the natural world to Noah's flood in the Bible.
|Inostrancevia alexadri on stamp of Russia 2020 MiNr.: 2871, Scott:|
The first discovery of a fossil in the Perm region was reported in 1762, when a trunk of petrified
wood was discovered in one of a copper mines of Tverdyshev.
The first description of animal and plant fossils from the Permian region were made by Russian zoologist of German origin Stepan Kutorga (1805?-1861) - "Beitrag zur Kenntniss der Organischen Ueberreste des Kupfersamdsteins am Westlichen Abhange des Urals", published in German in St. Petersburg, 1838.