Describes the funeral of Aunt Sarah [Elizabeth Wedgwood].
My dear Willy & Georgy.
I have thought that you would like to hear about poor Aunt Sarah's
funeral. Aunt Elizabeth, & Uncles, Jos, Harry,
Frank, Hensleigh, & Allen all attended, so that we had the house quite
full. The Funeral was at 3 olock, &
All the Uncles are gone away today. And I am going to London today, so cannot write
anymore. Do you Georgy send this letter soon on to Willy.
Hemmings & the maids will stay here about a month more I
My very dear Boys, Your affect. Father | C. Darwin
- f1 1987.f1The letter indicates that CD sent it first to George Darwin, at school in Clapham, who was instructed to forward it to William Darwin, then at Rugby School.
- f2 1987.f2Dated by the reference to the funeral of Sarah Elizabeth (Sarah) Wedgwood, who died on 6 November 1856.
- f3 1987.f3Sarah Wedgwood, CD's and Emma's aunt, was the unmarried sister of Josiah Wedgwood II. She had moved to Petleys, a house in Down village, in 1847 (see Correspondence vol. 3, letter to Emma Darwin, [24 June 1846] and Emma Darwin 2: 105). The funeral had taken place on 12 November 1856 (Emma Darwin's diary).
- f4 1987.f4These uncles were Emma's brothers and her cousin, John Allen Wedgwood. Aunt Elizabeth was Emma's older sister, Sarah Elizabeth (Elizabeth) Wedgwood.
- f5 1987.f5John Lewis was the carpenter and undertaker in Down village.
- f6 1987.f6John Innes, perpetual curate of Down.
- f7 1987.f7Sarah Wedgwood's servants, of whom the Darwin children were very fond. Henrietta Litchfield spelled ‘Moray’ as ‘Morrey’ when she recalled: ‘Mrs Morrey's gingerbread was like no other we have ever tasted before or since, and Martha would sing us songs which only gained by repetition.’ (Emma Darwin 2: 106).
- f8 1987.f8Henrietta Litchfield later recalled that Sarah Wedgwood ‘lived in her books, and the administration of her charities, and her only society was that of my mother and a few old friends and relations. She had no gift for intercourse with her neighbours, rich or poor, and I do not believe ever visited in the village.’ (Emma Darwin 2: 105).
- f9 1987.f9Although CD had told Joseph Dalton Hooker that he would not be able to dine with him, CD did go to London for the day on 13 November, as proposed in the postscript in the letter to J. D. Hooker, 11–12 November . His name appears in the Royal Society Philosophical Club minutes as having attended the 13 November meeting, and the expenses for the trip were recorded in CD's Account book (Down House MS) on 15 November 1856.
- f10 1987.f10The home of Francis Wedgwood near the family pottery works at Etruria, Staffordshire.