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Darwin Correspondence Project

From William Jackson   [24–8?] May [1876?]1

W. Jackson | Down


Dear Master

I thought it best to get the estimate for the pantry2 so t〈hat〉 you might see the Cost 6·0·0· 〈    〉 is more than I thought 〈    〉 it has got in a very bad s〈tate〉 and I think it is not over 〈    〉 it will take 12 days to do it   may I trobble you to say Yes or n〈o〉 will do so that I may start 〈a〉t once to get it all 〈    〉 for you. Come home3 〈    〉

obedient servant W. Ja〈ckson〉


The date range and year are conjectured from CD’s absence from Down in May 1876, and from the estimate of how long the renovation of the pantry would take; the earliest date the letter could have been written was the day of CD’s departure, and the cut off date of 28 May 1876 would allow for a reply and twelve days for the work to be done before CD’s return (see nn. 2 and 3, below). CD was also away in May in 1878, 1879, and 1880, but the appointment of a new butler in 1876 makes this the most likely year.
There was a substantial pantry in the east corner of Down House (Atkins 1974, p. 23). Jackson might have been asking for the work to be done in 1876 because he had recently taken over as butler (Browne 2002, p. 459), and the pantry would have been his domain.
CD was away from 24 May to 10 June 1876 (‘Journal’ (Appendix II)).


Atkins, Hedley J. B. 1974. Down, the home of the Darwins: the story of a house and the people who lived there. London: Royal College of Surgeons.

Browne, Janet. 2002. Charles Darwin. The power of place. Volume II of a biography. London: Pimlico.


CD’s servant submits estimate for work to be done on pantry.

Letter details

Letter no.
William Jackson
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 168: 42
Physical description
1p damaged

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10487,” accessed on 2 December 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 24