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Darwin Correspondence Project

To A. C. Ramsay   21 December [1871]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. [6 Queen Anne Street, London.]

Dec. 21

My dear Ramsay

If you are able to judge of amount of subsidence of the flag-stones, please observe whether anything indicates that the subsidence is not due to their having been originally laid on yielding earth.—2 Are they continued under cover where worms would not act? About what sized squares are the stones? What is age of your House? I think I understood that you had often actually seen worm-castings over the joints.— I have written to Prof. Geikie.3

Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from A. C. Ramsay, 27 December 1871.
Ramsay’s letter to CD on this subject has not been found. He had evidently written about a pavement between his house and his garden that had subsided owing to the activity of worms (see Earthworms, pp. 192–3).
Letter to Archibald Geikie, 20 December [1871].


Requests further information on subsidence of flagstones because of action of worms.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Andrew Crombie Ramsay
Sent from
London, Queen Anne St, 6 Down letterhead
Source of text
DAR 261.9: 6 (EH 88205979)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8116,” accessed on 20 July 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 19