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Darwin Correspondence Project

To T. H. Farrer   13 March 1878

Down. | Beckenham Kent (&c.)

March 13th. 1878.

My dear Farrer.

I send my letter of the sight of which you must be sick; you say that you can easily get it copied in London, and will you kindly have it done.1 I would have sent it to my copyist,2 but this would have caused delay, as he works only late at night, I hear from Hooker that he has written to you, & that he approves of Mr Torbitt’s plan, He tells me that the Tomato growing near potatoes, was badly affected at Kew; and this is a very unfavourable fact.3 Whatever you & Mr Caird4 may decide to do. I will agree to gratefully. A friend of the Litchfields has been making very careful enquiries from various persons in Belfast about Mr Torbitt; & reports that he is a wine & spirit merchant, & esteemed highly respectable & wealthy. He owns many public houses in Belfast   He is believed to have spent a great deal of money on his potato experiments.5

My dear Farrer. | Yours sincerely. | Ch. Darwin


The enclosure was a copy of CD’s earlier letter about James Torbitt’s potato experiments, with further revisions suggested by Joseph Dalton Hooker (see enclosure to letter to T. H. Farrer, 7 March 1878, and letter from J. D. Hooker, 12 March 1878). Farrer had offered to have copies made in his first letter of 9 March 1878.
CD had previously employed Ebenezer Norman as a copyist.
No letter from Hooker on this subject has been found.


Hooker approves of Torbitt’s plan [concerning potato experiments]. Torbitt, wine and spirit merchant in Belfast, highly respectable.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Thomas Henry Farrer, 1st baronet and 1st Baron Farrer
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 144: 94
Physical description
C 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11421,” accessed on 24 May 2024,