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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Thomas Salt   [March 1847]

Down Farnborough Kent

My dear Sir

Since I met you at my Father’s, I have made enquiries about the payment of the Maer purchase-money, & the time appears to be quite uncertain owing to some legal difficulties, & I fear may be long deferred.1 Therefore it is of no use, your being so kind as to look out at present for a security.

Moreover I must confess I have been much tempted by having just heard that the London & Birmingham Railway Company has offered 5 per cent on Debentures.2 As soon as I know anything certain about the payment I will acquaint you with my determination, & I beg to apologise for the trouble which I have inadvertently given you.—

Believe me | dear Sir | Yours faithfully & obliged | Charles R. Darwin

To | T. Salt Esqre


Salt was the Darwins’ family solicitor in Shrewsbury. CD’s father was Robert Waring Darwin. Maer Hall in Staffordshire was the home of Emma Darwin’s mother, Elizabeth Wedgwood, and was sold after her death in 1846 (Wedgwood and Wedgwood 1980, p. 246).
The London and Birmingham Railway became part of the London and North Western Railway in 1846. Shares in the London and North Western Railway were part of Emma’s trust property. CD also had shares in the London and North Western, and bought more in February and July 1847. (CD’s Investment Book (Down House MS), pp. 15, 21.) The London and North Western were proposing to build a line between Coventry and Nuneaton, with investors receiving a five per cent return (The Times, 13 February 1847, p. 7).


Wedgwood, Barbara and Wedgwood, Hensleigh. 1980. The Wedgwood circle, 1730–1897: four generations of a family and their friends. London: Studio Vista.


Maer purchase-money; London and Birmingham Railway Company shares.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Thomas Salt
Sent from
Source of text
Rachel Salt (private collection); sold by Spink’s (dealers), July 2018
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1066F,” accessed on 9 June 2023,

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