Chronicles the events of February, principally of the family and of a few friends: engagements, marriages, deaths, some visits.
I must begin this folio by wishing you joy my dear Charley of being this day
23 years old; and I heartily hope it may find you happy, and that you may
continue so for many and many a year to come.— Our plan as you may perceive is
always for each of us to take you every three Months in turn &
I repented last week that we had no intercourse with the Galtons as Paganini has been performing several nights at Birmingham & I heard
the Miss Galtons all attended the Theatre: If it had not been for M
I think there is great hopes that Charlotte Langton will settle hereafter in
Shropshire Lord Craven has so many livings in this County at his disposal. The one I
Hills put me in mind of Rocks & Stones &c & Papa bid me tell
you with his love that he asked M
Catherine has been staying the last two days at Woodhouse to entertain Fanny whilst
The more I hear of M
Another week has brought more news: for Frank Wedgwood is now engaged to be married to
a Miss Mosley daughter of a Clergyman of good family in Derbyshire. he staid in the
house with her a week at Loxley & some other place & then proposed to
her. she w
I am now staying at Overton with Marianne and her 4 <boys> who
are all very well & happy. Parky has been enquiring from me when Uncle Charles
will come back, which is a question I cannot answer.— D
I have just been reading the ``Mutiny of the Bounty'' in the Family Library it is a
very old story but very interesting from Beecheys account of the happy state he found
the Mutineers in at Pitcairn's Island. I daresay you have
Beecheys Voyage with you as Capt Fitzroy you said had such a large collection of Travels
on board.— Catty & I dined at Onslow last
Thursday & I met there a Capt Meynard who put me to the blush for my Uncle Sir
Francis Darwin by telling me he travelled with him in Greece & that Sir F's
chief sport was disfiguring & mutilating all the Statues he
came across.— This same Capt M. told me this was the time for all
Ships to leave England & not return, so I fear yr letter will not meet with a
conveyance so soon as I had hoped.— The Cholera has broken out in London so
you have chosen yr time well for leaving England as now I suppose every town most likely
will have its turn.— M
Poor Sam Beck has been getting worse & worse ever since you left home & now he is quite dying. Papa is just gone to see him. He is Dead— Our Hot house is quite finished & we have got several Pines & plants in it. Papa sits there a great deal & it answers very well as a hobby for him. we have had pipes laid down in the Greenhouse & the regular warmth of the hot water makes the morning room very comfortable as it was apt to get very cold at night.—
I am come back to Shrewsbury now. Mariannes new little boy is to be christened Charles
after his 2 Uncles of that name for D
I have one more Marriage to finish up with, but nothing very interesting: your charming
Cousin Lucy Galton is engaged to marry M
All our affectionate Loves to you Dearest Charles & I am Ever
I have played a good deal of Music this winter for yr sake.—
- f1 160.f1Francis Sacheverel Darwin had married Jane Harriett Ryle in 1815; he was knighted in 1820. The `mountainous abode' was at Sydnope, Derbyshire (see also letter to W. D. Fox, [1 April 1830]).
- f2 160.f2The Samuel Tertius Galtons.
- f3 160.f3The novel by Henry Fielding (1742).
- f4 160.f4A range of hills, the highest in the county, in south-west Shropshire.
- f5 160.f5CD mentions the Shrewsbury gravel pit in the Autobiography, p. 69, where he recalled Adam Sedgwick's reaction on being told that a tropical shell had been found there: `if really embedded there it would be the greatest misfortune to geology, as it would overthrow all that we know about the superficial deposits of the midland counties.' CD continued: `Nothing before had ever made me thoroughly realise … that science consists in grouping facts so that general laws or conclusions may be drawn from them.'
- f6 160.f6Aqualate Mere is a small lake on the western border of Staffordshire near the market town of Newport.
- f7 160.f7The House of Commons passed the Reform Bill on 23 March. It became law on 7 June 1832.
- f8 160.f8A dialect word. As used by the Darwins it usually has the sense of keeping accounts or being economical (see Emma Darwin 1: 139).
- f9 160.f9The following sentence, which had been written after `Pitcairn's Island.' was deleted: `I am afraid there is no chance of yr having it with you.'
- f10 160.f10Onslow, near Shrewsbury, was the seat of Colonel John Wingfield (Burke's Landed Gentry 1952).
- f11 160.f11`He is Dead' was added as an interlineation.