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Darwin Correspondence Project

From T. H. Farrer   30 October 1879

Abinger Hall, | Dorking. | (Gomshall S.E.R. | Station & Telegraph.)

30 Oct/79

My dear Mr Darwin

I have been very busy and have kept your papers about potatoes till I could read up the old papers— Now I cannot distinctly remember what Caird & I proposed to do a year & half or more ago.1

I think I could interest Lord Sandon in the case, but am not sure what it is that it would be well to do at present—2 Is it to get a Govt grant: or a subscription? What do you think?

Has not Mr Torbitt now some distinct further results to shew?

What do you think is best to be done? I will gladly do anything I can

Ever yrs sincerely | T H Farrer

Horace has just left with Ida after a very pleasant visit.3 We relieved ourselves by calling them “the young donkeys”—a name given by a Lancashire friend. We are deeply disappointed that Godfrey is too ill to take them in.4 That visit pleased us particularly.


See letter to T. H. Farrer, 23 October 1879 and n. 2; CD had asked for help for James Torbitt, who was trying to breed blight-resistant potatoes. In 1878, CD, Farrer, and James Caird had tried to obtain government support for Torbitt’s experiments (see Correspondence vol. 26).
Dudley Francis Stuart Ryder, Viscount Sandon, was minister for the Board of Trade, where Farrer was permanent secretary.
Horace Darwin was engaged to marry Ida Farrer; he had gone to spend a few days with her on 25 October (see letter to Horace Darwin, 23 October [1879]).
Godfrey Wedgwood was Emma Darwin’s nephew, and had married his cousin Hope Elizabeth Wedgwood, the sister of Farrer’s second wife, Katherine Euphemia Farrer.


Has Torbitt any further results? THF has forgotten what he had proposed to do.

Letter details

Letter no.
Thomas Henry Farrer, 1st baronet and 1st Baron Farrer
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Abinger Hall
Source of text
DAR 164: 94
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 12279,” accessed on 22 September 2023,