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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. S. Henslow   20 November [1849]1

Down Farnborough Kent

Nov. 20th

My dear Henslow

I write you one line to thank you much for informing me of the Subscription of which I had not heard. I shd. have been very sorry not to have had my name down.—2

My portrait has been taken;3 I do not know when I shall have any copies, but when I do, you must let me give you one— I can leave it at any place in London.— But there is plenty of time yet.—

We have scarlet fever amongst our children4 & are anxious.

Yours Ever | C. Darwin


The reference to scarlet fever among the children makes 1849 the probable year (see n. 4, below).
In CD’s Account Book (Down House MS) there is an entry on 8 January 1850: ‘Subscription. per. L. Reeve for Portrait of G. Ransome’ for a sum of 10s. 6d.
This probably refers to the lithograph portrait by Thomas Herbert Maguire for the Ipswich Museum portraits commissioned by George Ransome.
The Darwin family Bible at Down House, which lists many of the illnesses in the family, records that Anne, Henrietta, and Elizabeth had scarlet fever in 1849. Emma Darwin noted in her diary that on 12 November 1849, ‘Annie began scarlet fever’ and on 19 November ‘Etty & Bessy began with scarlet fever’.


Has had his portrait taken;

is anxious about scarlet fever among his children.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Stevens Henslow
Sent from
Source of text
Princeton University Library (General MSS)
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1272,” accessed on 17 May 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 4