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Darwin Correspondence Project

From G. H. Darwin   24 June 1879

6 Qu. A. St

Tuesd. 24 Ju. 79

Dear Father,

I have had 2 days at Record office & have found a great deal—too much to tell in detail.1

Wm. D. the II was Capt. of horse under Sir W. Pelham for 10 months & I have the particulars of his estate. They refer to Cleatham Hall as the place where his ancestors were accustomed to dwell. He was afterwds a barrister2   I am almost sure (& shall verify tomorr.) that the first Wm. D. (dd. 1644) was Yeoman of the armory at Greenwich & Steward of the Peverel to Jas I & Chas I3   He appears to have died of gout or at least was very ill with it in 1643.

The original paper of Wm. D. the Second is curious & bears his signature.4 I can’t spare it to send it you.

Yours affec | G H Darwin


The Public Record Office in Chancery Lane housed government and court records. George’s research was for the preliminary notice CD was writing to the English translation of a life of Erasmus Darwin (Krause 1879a, Erasmus Darwin; see also letter to C. M. C. Darwin, 6 April 1879).
William Darwin (1620–75) of Lincoln’s Inn was CD’s great-great-great-grandfather; his father was William Darwin (1573?–1644) of Cleatham Hall, Manton, north Lincolnshire. In May 1660, the younger William petitioned King Charles II for employment on the grounds that his father had served James VI and I, and Charles I, and he himself had fought for Charles I as captain-lieutenant in Sir William Pelham’s troop of horse (The National Archives, SP 29/1 f.211).
By a separate petition, William Darwin of Lincoln’s Inn asked to be given ‘Stewardship of the Peverell and the office his father enjoyed’ (The National Archives, SP 29/6 f.217). The ancient court of the Honour of Peverel (or Peveril) had jurisdiction over parts of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire; revived under Charles I, it was abolished in 1849 (Godfrey 1882).
George’s notes from the records in the State Papers, including his reproduction of the signature of William Darwin of Lincoln’s Inn, are in DAR 210.14: 210.


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

Godfrey, John T. 1882. The court of the Honour of Peverel in the counties of Nottingham and Derby. Nottingham: J. Derry.


Sends results of his researches on the Darwin family at the Record Office.

Letter details

Letter no.
George Howard Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Queen Anne St, 6
Source of text
DAR 210.2: 77
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 12116,” accessed on 22 May 2022,