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Darwin Correspondence Project

From T. H. Farrer   28 February 1878

Board of Trade, | Whitehall Gardens. | S.W.


My dear Mr Darwin

Caird takes it up warmly. He will see the Agricultural Society people.1 They have recently taken up the carrying on of Lawes experiments on a piece of land very liberally devoted to this purpose by the Duke of Bedford; and Caird thinks they will very likely take up this potato experiment if they think it promising—2 Any further information and any hints from you will be very welcome.

You shall hear anything further Caird tells me

Ever yours sincerely | T H Farrer

If this goes on it will be much better than Government


Farrer was responding to CD’s request on behalf of James Torbitt to obtain government funding for continued experimental work to develop a potato variety resistant to blight; see letter to James Torbitt, 26 February 1878. James Caird was a prominent member of the Royal Agricultural Society of England (ODNB).
John Bennet Lawes had been carrying out agricultural experiments at Rothamsted Agricultural Station; see Correspondence vol. 23, letter from J. H. Gilbert, 24 July 1875. The duke of Bedford was Hastings Russell; with Lawes, he set up the Woburn experimental station at Husborne Crawley, Bedfordshire, in 1876 (see E. J. Russell and Voelcker 1936).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

ODNB: Oxford dictionary of national biography: from the earliest times to the year 2000. (Revised edition.) Edited by H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. 60 vols. and index. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2004.


CD’s quest for Government support for potato experiments by James Torbitt.

Letter details

Letter no.
Thomas Henry Farrer, 1st baronet and 1st Baron Farrer
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Board of Trade
Source of text
DAR 164: 86
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11384,” accessed on 19 July 2024,