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Darwin Correspondence Project

From James Caird   21 March 1878

Copyright Inclosure & Tithe Commission 3, St. James’s Square: S.W.

March 21. 78

Dear Mr. Darwin

I am much obliged by the opportunity of perusing Mr. Torbitts Papers, which I now return.1

For the present I think the farther conduct of the experiments should be left with him, and if needful I shall be happy to apply to friends for a moderate contribution towards his expenses. But as yet his success has not been such as would in my view warrant an application for government aid.

I need hardly say that, personally, I am glad to give any aid in my power to the prosecution of experiments which you and Sir J. Hooker approve,2 and Mr. Torbitt owes you a deep debt of thanks for the help you have given him.3

Believe me | Very faithfully yours | James Caird

Charles Darwin Esq F.R.S.


James Torbitt had enclosed printed testimonials for his potato-breeding experiments with his letter of 15 March 1878; CD had forwarded these to Caird (see letter to James Torbitt, 20 March 1878).
CD had sent a cheque for £100 to enable Torbitt to continue his potato experiments for another season if a government grant could not be obtained (see letter to James Torbitt, 4 March 1878).


Success of James Torbitt’s potato experiments so far does not warrant an application for Government aid.

Letter details

Letter no.
James Caird
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Copyhold Inclosure and Tythe Commission
Source of text
DAR 161: 1
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11437,” accessed on 18 April 2021,