WILLIAM BRODERIP Autograph Letter Signed.
British naturalist and Fellow of the Royal Society. One of the creators of the London Zoological Gardens (the world's first zoo).
ALS. 1p plus integral blank leaf. Gray's Inn. 14th October 1850. To W.P. Hammond Junr. Esq.
"In reply to your note I beg to inform you that the hippopotamus is making good progress toward a vegetable diet and is now reconciled to the absence of his keepers at night."
8vo. Approx 7.25 x 4.5 inches. Mounting traces to corners of verso of integral blank leaf. All else very good or near fine.
William Broderip belonged to an age when real advances in science could still be the preserve of the talented and enthusiastic amateur. Broderip was a lawyer who sat as a magistrate at the Thames Police Court but his real passion was for natural history and he amassed a very fine and superior collection of shells, which was ultimately purchased by the British Museum. He was secretary of the Geological Society with Roderick Murchison and was, with Stamford Raffles and Sir Humphrey Davy, one of the founders and original fellows of the Zoological Society, which in 1828 opened the world's first scientific zoo, the London Zoological Gardens. The zoo was not open to the public until 1847, when shortage of funding forced it to open its doors to paying visitors. William Broderip was the co-author of the first guide to the zoo. This letter, apparently responding to an inquiry regarding the health of one of the animals, is unusual and quite a rarity.