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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Andrew Crombie Ramsay   4 February [1848]

Down Farnborough Kent

Feb. 4th

My dear Sir

It would give me very great pleasure, if you could spare a day & pay us a visit here. Mr & Mrs Lyell, Forbes & I hope Owen & Bell1 will come here for a late dinner on Saturday the 12th & stay till Monday morning. If you can so arrange it, I hope that you will join us.2 The best plan of coming here is to leave London Bridge by the 4o. 45’ Train & stop at Sydenham Station & thence take a Fly (if there are 4 of you, the roads are so hilly that it must be a two horse one) to Down.— You will arrive about 14 before seven just in good time for dinner.

Will you be so kind as to show this to Forbes, as I promised to tell him the hour of coming here.

I have not heard yet from Bell; but I believe Owen will come. Might I trouble you for a line in answer

Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin

Will you bring your map of S. America. (if not very large) & we will have a talk over it. Perhaps you had better see first d’Orbigny’s map in Geolog. Soc, without indeed Bone3 has already used his materials.

Tell Forbes to mind that he be not too late for the Train.—


Edward Forbes, Richard Owen, and Thomas Bell. It seems that everyone except Bell was able to make the visit (see n. 2, below).
Ramsay made the following entry in his diary (Geikie 1895, pp. 130–1) about the visit: 13th February, Sunday.— Rose betimes, had a walk in the gardens, and came in to breakfast. Set to work after, and read and thought over Hopkins’s views as shown in Jameson’s Journal, and when found made a note. After lunch Forbes, Owen, Lyell, and I had a walk in Sir John Lubbock’s park, and saw a number of things pleasant to look upon, in spite of a tendency to drizzling. Nice cosy chat, too, before and after dinner. Darwin is an enviable man—a pleasant place, a nice wife, a nice family, station neither too high nor too low, a good moderate fortune, and the command of his own time. After tea Mrs. Darwin and one of her sisters played some of Mendelssohn’s duets, etc. etc., all very charming. I never enjoyed myself more. Forbes came to my room before going to bed, and gave me a sketch of his coming lecture on generic centres. Lyell is a much more amusing man than I gave him credit for. Mrs. Lyell is a charming person—pretty, lively, and full of faith in, and admiration of, her husband.
Possibly Charles Richard Bone, artist to the Geological Survey (Flett 1937, pp. 46, 68).


Flett, John Smith. 1937. The first hundred years of the Geological Survey of Great Britain. London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office.

Geikie, Archibald. 1895. Memoir of Sir Andrew Crombie Ramsay. London and New York: Macmillan.


Invites him to dinner on Saturday the 12th. Charles and Mrs Lyell, Edward Forbes, Richard Owen, and Thomas Bell coming also.

"Will you bring your map of S. America … and we will have a talk over it."

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Andrew Crombie Ramsay
Sent from
Source of text
Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine Archives
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1152,” accessed on 18 January 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 4