From G. H. Darwin [17 July 1871]1
New University Club | St. James’s St.
We have just had Youmans to dinner & have had a very successful time. I suggested that Croll & M’Lennan would be very good men for his notion of small monographs & he says that he wd. be extremely obliged to you for notes to both of them, wh. I suppose you will have no objection to giving.2 He was very humble about asking for the letters but his scheme seems so good that I hope it will be well forwarded.
I had a long talk to Hacon today:—as to the codicil, he said that your will is now drawn in the usual form (but that I knew) & that practically to give the power to women to dispose of the funds is to allow the husbands to have free disposition over the sum & in short he rather recommended you to leave things as they are.3 I suggested that it might be very inconvenient if either of the girls4 wanted to buy a house &c but he answered that by saying that she could buy the house & mortgage it for the purchase money to the trustees. Nevertheless his arguments did not convince me.—
Then as to the settlemt we had a lot of talk all of wh I can hardly tell you in a letter.— He said that it looked rather one-sided to make the man settle all his money & for you only to give a bond (altho’ in this particr case it comes to precisely the same thing as he acknowledged) & suggested that unless you particularly desired not to do so you shd transfer £5000 of something of the nature of Debenture stock into the names of trustees & make the yearly income up to £400 or £350 if you preferred the lower figure & further that you shd covenant that from some source or other, either from Mother’s fortune or elsewhere, that not less than £5000 more shd be transferred to the trustees ultimately.5 This last I cannot see the use in—as Litchfield is not a grasping sort of man & indeed suggested that no bond or anything of the kind shd be entered into. Hacon seemed to go on the general supposition that L. was an eel wh. as far as one can tell of any man seems far from the truth.— Then again of the £5015 (not £5235 as added up by L.)— The Russian bonds & one or 2 of the other things are transferable by delivery & therefore not very good things for trustees to hold.— Not that Hacon objected to the Security but only to the comparative ease with wh. they may elude the grasp of the right persons—& Hacon suggested that he shd be required to change the investment of those things.— But I cannot say that I see the necessity for changing them for the chance of these being stolen if deposited in a Bank—tho’ of course the trustees wd. require a special clause of indemnity. The change of investment wd. necessarily entail a loss of income of about £50 a year. Hacon however seemed to think that it wd. not be unreasonable to demand the change but then he naturally wd. look much more to security than income & wd. neglect the change of income wh. togr. with the loss occasioned by the sale of the Bank shares wd. not be inconsiderable
I have however this very day seen a settlemt of Russian bonds—& Hacon allowed them to be very good security.
This idea of the Settlemt was just mine
interest to L. for life
remr. to Hen. for life joint power of appointmt by L & Hen. amongst children & power to the survivor to appoint among children in default of appointmt amongst children equally & in default of children as Litchfield shd appoint & as to H’s fund precisely the same only thro’out readg. H for L & vice versâ.
Hacon suggested that I shd talk it over with you & then that L. or his solicitor shd be put in communication with him—Hacon—as talks about investments are awkward between principals— I will if poss. come down on Thursday night
Your affec. son | George Darwin
Discusses legal matters; CD’s will and setting up trusts for Henrietta Darwin’s forthcoming marriage.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7841,” accessed on 12 February 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-7841