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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Francis Darwin   [before 8 December 1875]1

Pantlludw, | Machynlleth.

My dear Father

Here are the Linnean papers, I have signed the obligation tho’, it appears to say that it is not wanted if you compound2

We have very jolly here with skating at the top of the hill, we have a fire in the cottage there which is very luxurious

Mr Ruck lends me a good pair till L’s acmés come; it wasn’t my fault as I brought Amy’s believing them to be mine.3

I hope you wont work yrself into an appleplexy in London—4 Love to Mother & Bessy—5 Amy is not in just now | Yrs affec | Frank Darwin


The year is established by the reference to Francis’s election as a fellow of the Linnean Society (see n. 2, below); the day and month are established by the reference to CD’s visit to London (see n. 4, below).
Francis had been elected a fellow of the Linnean Society of London on 2 December 1875 (Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London (1875–6): ii). The ‘obligation’ was probably a payment of fees to the society; fellows were allowed, after their payment of an admission fee of £6, to compound their fees, that is, to pay a lump sum of £30 in lieu of all future annual payments (notice bound into Journal of the Linnean Society (Zoology) 13 (1878)).
Francis was staying with his in-laws, the Ruck family, in Pantlludw, Wales. He was probably waiting for Leonard Darwin’s ice skates. Acme skates, manufactured in Halifax, Canada, were metal skates that adjusted to fit tightly to the skater’s boots instead of being held on by leather straps (Martin Jones, Hockey’s home,, and Bert van Voorbergen, The virtual ice skates museum, (accessed 20 May 2014)). Amy Darwin was Francis’s wife; Lawrence Ruck was his father-in-law.
CD intended to leave for London on 8 December 1875 but was delayed by bad weather (see letter to W. R. S. Ralston, 7 December [1875]); he was in London from 10 to 20 December 1875 (see CD’s ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)).
Elizabeth Darwin.


Sends Linnean papers.

Letter details

Letter no.
Francis Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 274.1: 29
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10287F,” accessed on 17 April 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 23