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Darwin Correspondence Project

To James Torbitt   6 March [1880]1

Down [6 Queen Anne Street, London.]

March 6th.

P.S. to letter written and posted this morning—

Here is bad news: Mr. Farrer forwards letter from Mr. Caird, that he finds his agricultural friends are so poor from low rents that they are little inclined to subscribe; and Mr. Caird cannot pledge himself for £75.2

On the other hand my brother E. A. Darwin of 6 Queen Anne St. will subscribe £25 and my brother-in-law H. Wedgwood of 31 Queen Anne St. will subscribe £10—so you are sure of £110 and I cannot doubt something from Mr. Caird.3 Mr. Wedgwood wants me to write to the Times stating that I believe your scheme is a hopeful one and giving a sketch of it—stating what subscriptions are promised and saying that I would receive others for the object. I dislike the thought of doing this, but should be glad to hear what you think of it. If you approve I will try and screw up my courage, but would first consult Mr. Farrer (who unfortunately has left London to-day) and in this case pray give me a few particulars for how many generations have you in any case selected? Do the later generations appear freer of the disease than the earlier generations? Can you advance any evidence with names and addresses of agriculturalists or market gardeners who saw your plants growing and the tubers? My memory has grown rather uncertain and I dare not trust it. Any report had better be as short as possible. I am very tired and can write no more

C. Darwin

I do not promise to write to the Times.


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to James Torbitt, 6 March 1880.
See letter to James Torbitt, 6 March 1880. The letter from James Caird to Thomas Henry Farrer has not been found in the Darwin Archive–CUL.
Erasmus Alvey Darwin and Hensleigh Wedgwood. CD had sent £50 and Farrer had pledged £25; see letter to James Torbitt, 6 March 1880.


P.S. to letter posted that morning. James Caird cannot pledge £75. Erasmus Darwin and Hensleigh Wedgwood will subscribe. May write letter to the Times. Asks for report on experiments.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
James Torbitt
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 148: 113
Physical description
C 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 12521,” accessed on 20 September 2023,