[Clapham Grammar School] Friday. | morning. You must excuse bad writing in this page because I had an abominable quill pen My dear Papa
You need not have sent me to School Yesterday because today M
I like the Book I am reading now now very much it is called Ben
Sylvester's word, it is all about robbers & murdering
that is to say a good deal about them. When once I get in steady work again, the time
will soon fly. We have no chapel now and on Sunday some boys are going to Westminster
Abbey and goodness knows where, all sorts of Churchs. M
Pencil in pencil case in box
compass in compass case in ditto
pen and nibbs ditto
gold paint ditto
paintbox in the setting board cupboard on the middle shelf that is just below the setting boards.
painting hankerchief ditto.
I expect you have put my things in the wrong places but now you will be able to put them right. I wish I had stoped.
Unfortunately I could not get an inside place in an omnibus so I had a cold drive. I got up this morning with a bit of a headache but it soon went of.
The first bit of time will pass awfully slow. I have begun those thick trowsers, so I dont know what to say about flannel draws Mama will settle that I hope shall come to London to meet H. Hemmings. I suppose Brooks came home very late last night. Will you or Mama write to me very soon
Good bye I remain | your affec son | G H Darwin
Nucklebones come from sheep's ankles I suppose all four legs I have no pen
- f1 2003f.f1The date is established by the fact that George, aged 11, started attending Clapham Grammar School in August 1856 (J. R. Moore 1977, p. 54), by the reference to Mrs Morrey, who left Down at the end of 1856 (see n. 4, below), and by references in Emma Darwin's diary (DAR 242). The only Thursday in 1856 on which Emma recorded in her diary George's returning to school was 27 November.
- f2 2003f.f2The reference is to Charles Pritchard, headmaster of Clapham Grammar School (DNB). George had been ill while at home: for 25 November 1856 Emma Darwin's diary (DAR 242) records, `G. very poorly'.
- f3 2003f.f3Yonge 1856.
- f4 2003f.f4Sarah Morrey had been cook to Sarah Elizabeth Wedgwood, CD's and Emma's aunt, who had died 6 November 1856 (Freeman 1978). The Darwin children, except for William, had visited Sarah's former home in Down, Petleys, on 22 November for a farewell tea party with the servants, of whom they were fond (Correspondence vol. 6, letter to W. E. Darwin, 25 [November 1856]). Henrietta Emma Darwin later wrote, `Mrs Morrey's gingerbread was like no other we have ever tasted before or since' (Emma Darwin (1915), 2: 106). Petleys was auctioned and the servants departed in mid-December 1856 (Correspondence vol. 6, letter to W. E. Darwin, 25 [November 1856]).
- f5 2003f.f5Henry Hemmings had been a servant of Sarah Elizabeth Wedgwood (Freeman 1978). After Sarah's death he moved to Staffordshire, where he remained in contact with the Darwins and Wedgwoods. In the letter to W. E. Darwin, 10 [December 1856] (Correspondence vol. 6), CD wrote that Hemmings would be in London in the latter part of December. In a letter probably written on 17 December 1856, George wrote to William that he had met Hemmings unexpectedly that day, presumably in Clapham, and added: `On Monday I am going to London & on Tuesday you will come & I beleive you are to stop a night or two and there will be Hemmings who I know you will be glad enough to see & we will have plenty of larks and skramages with H.H.' (DAR 210.6: 13).
- f6 2003f.f6William Brooks was a servant at Down (F. Darwin 1920); he may have driven George to meet the omnibus. George's departure had been delayed for an hour by a nose-bleed (letter from Emma Darwin to W. E. Darwin, [1 December 1856], DAR 219.1: 13).