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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Anthony Rich   10 December 1878

Chappell Croft | Heene, Worthing.

Decr: 10. 1878

My dear Sir,

I received yours by the mid-day post of this date; and with it had the satisfaction to learn that what I have done is gratifying to yourself, while at the same time it gives me very great pleasure to think that I have had it in my power to testify my respect for you, in a way which may also add to the comforts of your children.—1 Now to business.

The property in which you will be interested consists of a block of four freehold houses in the city of London; and of which I hold not quite an undivided moiety2—viz Nos. 24. 25. 26. & 27. Cornhill; thus distributed—

No. 24. one moiety, subject to the life interest of my brother’s widow.3 The reversion of that moiety I have left by Will to a very old friend of my late brother—Mr. Frederick Hand, Solicitor of 5. New Inn Strand. who is also one of my Executors. He would be a useful right hand man to you, in case you should require eventually any information respecting the estate.

No. 25. One moiety, subject to the life interests of my sister, & her husband, or the survivor of them.—4

No. 26— One moiety— } subject to the life interest of my sister only.
No. 27. One quarter

The reversion of my interest in these three houses I have devised to you, at my death and after the life interests expire. Under the present leases, which have just been renewed for seven years from Ladyday next, my share of the rents, in these three houses devised to you amounts to something more than £1,100 per ann:—.5

In a couple of months I shall enter my 75th. year. My sister is two years younger—her husband either the same age or one year younger than herself; and my sister in law, who holds the life interest in No. 24. the youngest of all, but still well advanced in years.—

This account will put you in possession of all particulars respecting the actual value of the property; and the grounds for a fair guess as to the probable period of succession.—

The other portions of the property, with the sole exception of one quarter of No. 24., are owned by two gentlemen, brothers, of the name of Smith, with whom we on our side have always found cordial cooperation:—a great advantage when an estate is undivided, as this one is.—6 I may also mention that a professional valuer, whose opinion was taken last year by the owners respecting the best means of dealing with these houses, gave a recommendation, to let the whole of them in one block upon a long building lease of 60 or 70 years—so much room in the present structures being occupied by the number of entrances, staircases &c not adapted to modern wants—which he said would ensure a ground rent of at least equal amount to the present. This I mention as it might be well for you to bear it in mind in making your own disposal so as not to tie it up inadvertently in a manner which might prevent its being dealt with hereafter to the best advantage—. Should such a scheme be carried out during my life time you would succeed to my share of the ground rents. under the present Will; or I should make a new one to effect that object. It would, I imagine, be a beneficial arrangement for all parties; as it would get rid of the only draw back to the full value of the estate—the possibility of it’s being divided amongst a large number of owners, any one of whom by disagreeing with the others, out of pure ignorance or even perversity, might obstruct its management, or prevent its being advantageously administered.

I do not recollect any thing else at present to say upon this subject; as I have given you all the information that I have myself; But if any omission should occur to me hereafter I will not forget to make you aware of the omission and to remedy it; or to answer any questions which you may wish to ask of me if you will make me aware of them.— Meantime permit me to sign myself

Dear Sir | Yours truly | Anthony Rich

If the whole of this is not clearly expressed pray let me know; This long continued East wind stirs up an old evil with me—torpid liver—and that makes my mind so dull & confused as itself.—

CD annotations

On cover: ‘3’ pencil circled pencil


See letter to Anthony Rich, 9 December 1878. Rich had bequeathed his estate to CD.
In legal terms, a moiety is one of two equal parts.
Fanny Richarda Rich was the widow of Rich’s brother Francis Henry Rich.
Lady Day (25 March) was one of the quarter days on which rents were collected and tenancies begun and ended.
The Smith brothers have not been identified.


Gives CD details of the property he proposes to bequeath to him.

Letter details

Letter no.
Anthony Rich
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 210.12: 4
Physical description
ALS 6pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11783,” accessed on 23 June 2024,