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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Frederick Ransome   7 March 1864


Mar 7th. 1864

My dear Sir

Your favour of the 5th. Inst. with the Cancelled Bond is duly to hand and for which I am much obliged as also for the handsome manner in which you decline to accept Interest up to present date.—1

Respecting the time at which it would be convenient to me that the Bill shd be presented for payment I would suggest that if not inconvenient to you that it should be understood that it should be at 12-months from date— or say the 4th. March 1865.2

If this proposal is agreeable to you, kindly let me know3 and I will enter the Amount upon my Books as a payment to be made on that day.

With kind regards Believe me | My dear Sir | Very faithfully yrs | Fredk. Ransome

Charles Darwin Esq | Down nr Bromley | Kent

CD annotations

Verso: ‘Mr F. Ransome | Correspondence 1864–65–66.—’4 ink; ‘Rushmere Lodge | Norwood Lane | S.’5 pencil, del pencil


CD’s letter to Ransome with the cancelled bond has not been found; however, a note on page 60 of CD’s Investment book (Down House MS), dated 5 March 1864, records: ‘I have cancelled Mr Ransome’s Bond, receiving a promissory note for £100 in lieu of all payment—’. The promissory note, in DAR 99: 28, is a document filled in by Ransome and signed by CD:

£100.0.0 Ipswich Mar 4th. 1864 One month after demand pay to my order One Hundred Pounds Sterling with Interest from this date at the rate of 5% pr. annum—. Value received. To Mr. Fredk. Ransome | Ipswich— Charles Darwin

Beginning in 1852, CD had invested in, and made several loans to, the Patent Siliceous Stone Company, which was owned by Ransome and David Thomas Ansted (CD’s Investment book (Down House MS), pp. 59–60). CD became acquainted with Ransome and Ansted through John Stevens Henslow (see Correspondence vol. 5, letter to J. S. Henslow, 8 March [1853]). The company, founded in 1848, had a troubled history, having to be reorganised and relaunched several times. In 1863, CD made a similar arrangement with Ansted regarding the payment of another loan to the company (see Correspondence vol. 11, CD memorandum, 14 February 1863, letter to D. T. Ansted, 15 April 1863 and n. 3, and letter from D. T. Ansted, 23 April 1863).
Ransome asked CD in his letter of 6 March 1865 (Correspondence vol. 13) whether the repayment could be postponed further; see also letter from Frederick Ransome, 9 March 1865. Ransome made a similar request the following year (see letter to Frederick Ransome, [before July 6 1866] (Calendar no. 5148), and letter from Frederick Ransome, 6 July 1866 (Calendar no. 5150)). Ransome had been attempting to relaunch the company under the name ‘the Patent Concrete Stone Company’ at new premises, but the company did not go into full-scale production until 1867 (Engineering, 28 June 1867, pp. 671–2).
CD’s reply has not been found; however, see n. 2, above.
For correspondence with Ransome in 1865 and 1866, see n. 2, above. Although no letters between Ransome and CD have been found from 1863, CD did correspond during that year with Ansted, Ransome’s partner (see n. 1, above).
Ransome lived in Lower Norwood in south-eastern Surrey (Post Office London suburban directory 1868).


Calendar: A calendar of the correspondence of Charles Darwin, 1821–1882. With supplement. 2d edition. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1994.

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 26 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Post Office London suburban directory: The Post Office London suburban directory. Kelly’s London suburban directory. London: Kelly & Co. 1860–1903.


Acknowledges cancelled bond and thanks CD for declining to accept interest. Suggests 4 Mar 1865 as date for payment of the bill CD holds.

Letter details

Letter no.
Frederick Ransome
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 99: 24–5
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4421,” accessed on 25 January 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 12