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Darwin Correspondence Project

To T. H. Farrer   24 September [1877]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. | (Railway Station | Orpington. S.E.R.)

Sept. 24th

My dear Farrer

I am very greatly obliged to you for your worm-diary. Such a diary was never kept before, & it will be very useful to me, so as to give an abstract of it.— I had not the least expectation of your taking such extraordinary pains.— Before you leave Abinger for London, will you look once again to see how the worms go on.—2

I hope sometime that you will continue your explorations under an archæological point of view, though I hope so merely out of general curiosity.3

Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from T. H. Farrer, 23 September 1877.
See letter from T. H. Farrer, 23 September 1877, enclosure, and n. 2. CD published extracts from Farrer’s observations of worm action at the site of a Roman villa in Abinger in Earthworms, pp. 186–9, including further observations made on 25 September and 13 October.
The site was left open and in 1880 Farrer made further observations of worm action there, but the excavations were not continued (Earthworms, p. 188; Malden ed. 1902–12, 3: 129–34).


Earthworms: The formation of vegetable mould through the action of worms: with observations on their habits. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1881.

Malden, Henry Elliot, ed. 1911. A history of the county of Surrey vol. 3. London: Victoria County History.


Thanks THF for the diary of worm activity at Abinger site.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Thomas Henry Farrer, 1st baronet and 1st Baron Farrer
Sent from
Source of text
Linnean Society of London (LS Ms 299/27)
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11151,” accessed on 31 January 2023,