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Darwin Correspondence Project

From William Darwin Fox   6 January [1865]1

Delamere Ry | Northwich

Jany 6

My dear Darwin

I must write you a few lines to thank you much for your sending me your paper upon the 3 forms of Lythrum Salicaria.2 I have read it with very great pleasure, and shall look at my Garden Variety of it with much more interest than I ever did before, next year.

I forget whether I have told you that my wife brought me a very fine little Boy three weeks since to day.3

Most of our friends condole with us on the affliction but we are well contented to bear it. We have not one too many in our 16.4 14 are now at home—but we shall soon lose my eldest Boy who has taken his degree at Oxford, & will be ordained in March.5

I have now 5 Grandchildren also.

But I will not bother you with more reading. May every blessing be yours and Mrs Darwins in this new year | I am Your affece Cousin | W. D Fox


The year is established by the references to CD’s paper on Lythrum salicaria, and to the birth of a son to Fox (see nn. 2 and 3 below).
‘Three forms of Lythrum salicaria’. Fox’s name appears on CD’s presentation list for the paper (see Correspondence vol. 12, Appendix III).
Gilbert Basil Fox, born 16 December 1864, was the twelfth child of William Darwin Fox and his second wife, Ellen Sophia. Fox and his first wife, Harriet, had five children, one of whom died in 1853 (Darwin pedigree).
On learning that Fox and his wife were expecting a new baby, CD wrote to Fox: ‘I never heard anything so awful as your sixteenth child!’ (see Correspondence vol. 12, letter to W. D. Fox, 30 November [1864]).
Samuel William Darwin Fox took his BA at Wadham College, Oxford, in 1864. His first clerical position was as curate of St Paul’s, Manningham, Yorkshire, in 1865 (Alum. Oxon., Crockford’s clerical directory).


Thanks CD for his Lythrum paper [Collected papers 2: 106–31].

Tells of the birth of his 16th child. Has five grandchildren.

Letter details

Letter no.
William Darwin Fox
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 164: 183
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4741,” accessed on 20 July 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 13