skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To Reginald Darwin   29 May [1879]1

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

May 29th

My dear Cousin

I overlooked the enclosed, which you will like to add to the others—2 Pray do not take trouble to acknowledge it—

Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin

P.S. Did you ever hear your father tell a story about a high-way robber & our grandfather.3 The Miss Galtons say that he visited the man in prison and heard why he did not rob our grandfather. Mrs. Nixon seems to know nothing of this latter part of story, and thinks that our grandfather only suspected that the man intended to rob him.4

If I receive no answer I shall understand that you know nothing about it. I am sure that my father told some story on subject, but my memory is utterly vague.


The year is established by the references to the life of Erasmus Darwin, which CD started writing in May 1879 (see letter to Reginald Darwin, 2 May 1879).
On 16 April 1879, CD had sent Reginald Darwin some letters from Francis Sacheverel Darwin to Robert Waring Darwin (1766–1848); the enclosure, which has not been found, was another of these letters (see letter from Reginald Darwin, 31 May 1879).
Reginald’s father was Francis Sacheverel Darwin; Reginald and CD were grandsons of Erasmus Darwin. CD gave the story of the robber in Erasmus Darwin, pp. 64–5.
See letter from E. A. Wheler, 25 March 1879; by ‘the Miss Galtons’ CD means Emma Sophia Galton and Elizabeth Anne Wheler, née Galton. Emma Nixon’s version of the story (now missing) was forwarded to CD with the letter from E. A. Wheler, 17 April 1879.


Erasmus Darwin. By Ernst Krause. Translated from the German by W. S. Dallas, with a preliminary notice by Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1879.


Encloses a family document [another letter from F. S. Darwin to R. W. Darwin?].

Asks whether RD has ever heard a story about their grandfather and a highway robber.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Reginald Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
Kōbunzo (dealers) (1977); DAR 153: 101
Physical description
ALS 1p inc (facsimile) & C 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 12067,” accessed on 4 March 2024,