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Letter 173

Darwin, C. S. to Darwin, C. R.

12–28 June [1832]

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    Brings CD up to date on family and many friends. Describes the wedding of Fanny Owen and R. M. Biddulph. Sedgwick called on return from Wales. W. D. Fox has been very ill.

Transcription

[Shrewsbury]

June 12th.

My dear Charles,

I cannot tell you the delight receiving your letter from St. Salvador gave us—we had been so impatiently longing to hear from you & it was such pleasure to have such an interesting happy account of you We miss you & talk about you & think about you more even than I expected— by this time you will have had our packets of letters, we have written by the first of Tuesday of every month since you went to Rio & latterly to Monte Video— do not forget to give us notice when we are to change our direction— by counting months you will always tell if you receive all our letters for I again assure you till you return I take the responsibility of seeing that a letter goes to you every month— Susan had only room in her last letter to tell you Fanny Owen & Mr Biddulph were married on the 31st of May & promised I should add a more particular account— the party assembled was almost entirely female all the men being in London— nobody was staying in the house but the Humphreys my sisters & Mr Biddulps brother— I went early in the morning of the day with Miss Casteau as I had been staying a few days at Maer & did not get home till the 30th. We got to Woodhouse between 8 & 9 & Fanny soon sent for me to her room She was beautifully dressed in white of course, with her bonnet & veils on—all ready. She looked so odd & so much like a person going on the stage that we had a very merry laugh together. She was very nice & affectionate & I sat with her whilst the breakfast was going on— all the maids came in to have a look at the bride & after breakfast all the ladies who had arrived for breakfast came up stairs to see Fanny, which she found very disagreeable— those who came to breakfast were the Kenyons, Bridgemans, Mathews, Dymocks, Smythe Owens, & Cottons— at 1012 the procession began, 10 carriages— I went with Fanny Caroline & Emma poor Caroline was very low. Mr. Biddulph looked very handsome & gentlemanlike & extremely nervous, during the ceremony he looked quite white & his hands blue. Fanny shook so much she could hardly write her name. they went off to Chirk from the church. Mr Hunt I thought read the Service very well. We all returned to Woodhouse the day was long— the tenants assembled in front of the house playing games &c. the evening ended by a servants ball & all the farmers wives & daughters in the neighborhd came. the ball went off with great spirit & the dining room so crowded that the heat was intolerable. the next morning we all went home— Susan & Cath have since this met Mr. & Mrs. Biddulph for a day at Woodhouse, Fanny looking very handsome & happy. they went to London last week for a month— Mrs. Owen & Caroline are now in London—staying with Mrs. Williams. She (Mrs. W.) has not got quite well from the accident by which she hurt her foot—& is still forced to use crutches— there has been a letter from Arthur Owen, he was more lucky than you being only sick one day— he wrote from Madeira in rapture with the flowers & climate— Nothing is yet settled about Francis— there were no Young ladies to Arthurs great disappointment— his Captain thinks his merchant ship the first in the world.— Eyton after all is not gone to Germany. Mr. Hope did not wait for him & he would not follow— I shall mention all the people about: the Leightons we have seen a good deal of lately as Catherine & the girls have taken a drawing rage & go out sketching together most days— You have heard in Susan's last letter of Sir James Makintosh death, all his books are to be sold this spring. When the debts are paid it is supposed there will be about £3500 between all his children Hensleigh & Fanny will live near London so that Hensleigh can drive to his Police Office every day— they are coming to Maer next month, & the Langtons in September. Erasmus has I think rather a spite to Mr Langton he does not think him worthy of Charlotte, full of small talk & not very sensible but I do not feel sure that he is right in his opinion as he seemed determined not to like him. I have had many nice happy letters from Charlotte— Erasmus had intended going to Paris with Fred Hildyard in July but in a letter we had from him yesterday he says now that Paganini is in London he can not leave it— Marianne, Cath & I are going to the sea tomorrow, for a fortnight to the Rhyl near St. Asaph— the 3 elder boys go with us & leave the baby at home.— I mention the number of children for fear like Erasmus you should forg<e>t all about your nephews— Papa is very well—he is going to have a new carriage built to hold two people instead of having a new Sulky— poor old Pincher is quite affectionate to me now that his master is away & I always pet him out of regard to his master. Nina is getting fat—

Frank Wedgwood & Mrs. Frank are staying here. Mrs. Frank is a very uninteresting person not at all agreeable, large & plain. She seems very fond of Frank a capital scrattle & amiable so I hope they will do well together & she is sensible— We are going this evening to the Circus to see a very good set of horses that are in Shrewsbury— Dr H. Johnson is come to live here & he dines with us & joins our party I forget whether you know him— I was surprised this morning to meet 3 Miss Hills of Berrington all going to ride at the Circus going alone without any gentleman or even a servant. Mr. Everard Fielding was married last week to Miss Baughey

I am ashamed of sending such an abominably stupid letter, but there never was a month with less to tell in it We have done nothing but garden & I think to write about our flowers would hardly do now that you are seeing tropical vegetation— Mr Sedgwick called for half an hour on his return from Wales & was very pleasant—what a very agreeable man he is & what an agreeable countenance he has. We heard a report that William Fox has been very ill, in a letter from Miss Bent to one of the Wedgwoods she says ``he is now so much better that he walks out every day, but his Doctor bled him so violently that it will be long before he recovers his strength'' Cath wrote to Julia to enquire of him but we have had no answer. Do be careful of yourself dear Charles. I can not help feeling afraid that you will make yourself ill by over exertion in some scheme which you enjoy. Papa & all join in love to you with mine my very dear Charles how I shall enjoy seeing your dear old face again.

Ever yrs affly Caroline Darwin—

(Letter finished June 28th)

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 173.f1
    Thomas Hunt.
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    f2 173.f2
    Anne Henrietta Boughey married Everard Robert Bruce Fielding, Rector of Stapleton, on 21 June 1832 (Gentleman's Magazine 102.2 (1832): 75--6).
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