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Darwin Correspondence Project

From W. E. Darwin   25 February [1879]1


Feb 25th.

My dear Father,

Sara and I were extremely surprised by your most pleasant circular.2

It is most kind of you and Mother to think of and agree upon this way of increasing all our incomes. Just a hundred or two beyond one’s natural income makes all the difference about feeling rich, and makes the margin for saving very considerable.

I am sure we must all feel that no Father or Mother can have been more thoughtful for ones good or more kind in every conceivable way, and it is a comfort to think that none of us have shewn many symptoms of gambling tendencies in our blood.

I am sure practise in saving must be a wholesome thing, and I entirely agree as to what you say about moderate interest and judging by common sense, and I feel it more strongly every year.

I shall certainly save it myself as these last Banking troubles show the necessity for Bankers to have larger private reserves in available securities.3

I send on the letter to George.4

Sara sends her love to you & Mother and thanks you both. We both wonder how you can resist the fun of seeing your savings continue to grow.

I am, dear Father | your affectionate son | W. E. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to the Darwin children, 21 February 1879.
Sara Darwin. See letter to the Darwin children, 21 February 1879, in which CD said that he would divide the overplus of his income annually amongst his children and urged his children to invest in safe securities paying low rates of interest.
The banking crisis that started in October 1878 with the collapse of the City of Glasgow Bank had emphasised the need for banks to maintain greater cash or near-cash reserves; see Collins 1989, p. 525.


Collins, Michael. 1989. The banking crisis of 1878. Economic History Review 2d ser. 42: 504–27.


Thanks CD profusely for the circular which detailed his and Emma Darwin’s plans to increase their children’s income. Thinks a few hundred really makes the difference for feeling really rich, especially as he now knows how important it is for bankers to have available personal savings.

Letter details

Letter no.
William Erasmus Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
Cornford Family Papers (DAR 275: 71)
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11896F,” accessed on 1 June 2023,