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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Higgins   2–3 December [1853]

Down Bromley Kent

Dec. 2d

My dear Sir

I cannot remember whether I acknowledged your last note— — Anyhow I hope to meet you on the 10th,1 as near as I can arrive by 1 o’clock at Woods’ Hotel Furnival Inn.2

Your’s very faithfully | C. Darwin

P.S. | I have just received your note, enclosing your account, & I have received information from the Union Bank, that they have placed to my account from you £225 : 6s : 5d, for which I am much obliged.—3 Dec. 3d.

C. Darwin

P.S. When we meet you must tell me, whether you wd. prefer 12 yearly a receipt on a stamp now that the stamp-laws are altered4


There is an entry recording a visit to London on that day in CD’s Account book (Down House MS).
Furnival’s Inn, Holborn, London (Post Office London directory 1853).
CD recorded the receipt of £225 11s. 5d. on 3 December 1853 in his Classed account book (Down House MS) for the rent from Beesby farm.
Among the wide-ranging changes in taxes and duties put forward by William Ewart Gladstone in the budget of 1853, was the introduction of a penny duty to be charged on documents functioning as receipts. After the new measure came into force on 11 October 1853, any receipt for a sum of £2 or more had to carry a one penny stamp if it was to be an admissible record of the transaction (Annual Register (1853): 56; Economist 11 (1853): 1127). CD’s next surviving letter to Higgins, 25 December 1854, acknowledging the receipt of rent, bears the appropriate stamp.


Arranges meeting. Discusses his account.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Higgins
Sent from
Source of text
Lincolnshire Record Office (Hig 4/1)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1541,” accessed on 20 June 2018,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 5