Gives his opinion of the charges against E. W. Lane.
Down Bromley Kent
My dear Fox
Will you read the enclosed & return it me soon— All those, whom I
have asked think that D
I am writing this under much hurry, (but I will not miss a post) as poor dear Etty has been most seriously ill with an attack very like Diptheria; but thank God after much suffering is recovering; but last night our Baby commenced with Fever of some kind.
Yours affectionately | C. Darwin
- f1 2293.f1Edward Wickstead Lane, the proprietor of Moor Park hydropathic establishment, had been cited as co-respondent in a divorce case brought by Mr Henry Robinson of Reading against his wife. Mrs Robinson kept a diary of her supposed adultery with Lane during a visit to Moor Park in 1845 which was presented as evidence: the case hinged on whether Mrs Robinson had imagined the whole affair. CD probably refers to the long reports given in The Times, 15 June 1858, pp. 11–12; 16 June 1858,p. 11; and 17 June 1858, p. 11. The judge's summing up was reported, along with some sensational extracts from the diary, in The Times, 22 June 1858, p. 11.
- f2 2293.f2Mr Thom had been called as a witness in the trial. In her diary, Mrs Robinson had also claimed to have had an ‘escapade’ with Thom at Moor Park. According to The Times, 17 June 1858, p. 11, Thom denied any liaison with Mrs Robinson.
- f3 2293.f3Lane had written to Mrs Robinson about her health on several occasions after the alleged adultery.
- f4 2293.f4The suit was abandoned after it was shown that Lane could not act both as witness and accused (see The Times, 5 July 1858, p. 11).
- f5 2293.f5See letter to J. D. Hooker, 23 [June 1858]. Emma Darwin's diary records that on 23 June 1858 Charles Waring Darwin was taken ill.