skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To T. H. Huxley   29 December 1878

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. | Railway Station | Orpington. S.E.R.

Dec. 29th 1878

My dear Huxley

Your letter surprised me almost as much as Mr Rich’s first one; & part of it gave us all a real good laugh.1 I thank you most heartily for writing & so kindly, for we were dying with curiosity to know what sort of man Mr Rich was. We inferred rightly from the very nice & delicate letters which he wrote, that he was a thorough gentleman, & that was all which we could make out.— It seems a great shame that he should leave his fortune to me, who am well provided; but I told him in my first letter that I was what might be called a rich man, & that the knowledge of this might alter his intention, but it has not done so: I told him, however, that I had 5 sons & that two of them were too great invalids ever to gain any income, so that I was very glad of an addition to my fortune.—2 I have offered to go to an inn at Worthing in the spring with my wife, & thus see him, for he told me in answer to an invitation that he could not come here.3

Altogether it is an extraordinary affair, but as he consulted so good & true a friend as you have ever been to me, it does seem quite so strange as it appeared at first.— It has pleased me greatly in many ways & especially on my childrens account, for it is improbable that I myself should ever receive his property.4

My dear old friend | Ever yours | Charles Darwin

Footnotes

CD died on 19 April 1882; Rich died on 4 April 1891. Rich’s bequest went to CD’s heirs (Freeman 1978).

Bibliography

Freeman, Richard Broke. 1978. Charles Darwin: a companion. Folkestone, Kent: William Dawson & Sons. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, Shoe String Press.

Summary

About Anthony Rich, who has decided to leave his fortune to CD [and later also to make a bequest to THH]. CD’s account of what he wrote to Rich.

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-11809
From
Charles Robert Darwin
To
Thomas Henry Huxley
Sent from
Down
Source of text
Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine Archives (Huxley 5: 329)
Physical description
4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11809,” accessed on 5 March 2021, https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/DCP-LETT-11809.xml

letter