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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. S. Henslow   17 January [1850]

Down Farnborough | Kent

Jan 17th

My dear Henslow

Mr Ransome1 has in the most magnificent manner, & owing, he says, to all that he has heard you say of me, presented me with a complete series of the Ipswich likenesses.2 In consequence I have you in duplicate3 & wish therefore to return one copy to you.— Will you tell me where I can have it left for you in London.— I have some copies of my own likeness, which you no doubt have in the series, otherwise I shd of course have been proud to have sent you one.— My wife says she never saw me with the smile, as engraved, but that otherwise that it is very like.— My said wife has been occupied these two days past in producing a fourth boy Darwin & seventh child!4 He is to be called Leonard,—a name I hold in affection from Cambridge & other associations.—5 I was so bold during my wifes confinement which are always rapid, as to administer Chloroform, before the Dr. came & I kept her in a state of insensibility of 1 & 12 hours & she knew nothing from first pain till she heard that the child was born.— It is the grandest & most blessed of discoveries.

Yours affect | C. Darwin

I hope Mrs & Miss Henslow are well

I am at work again & believe I have succeeded in persuading our Clodhoppers to be enrolled in a Club.—6


George Ransome, secretary of the Ipswich Museum.
The collection of sixty lithograph portraits by Thomas Herbert Maguire, made for the Ipswich Museum. See letter to George Ransome, 25 October [1849], n. 1.
Leonard was the eighth child born to the Darwins, but Mary Eleanor, their third child, born in September 1842, had lived for only three weeks.
CD refers to Leonard Jenyns, Henslow’s brother-in-law, with whom he made frequent entomological expeditions during his Cambridge undergraduate days, and to Henslow’s oldest child, also called Leonard.
This refers to the establishment of the Down Friendly Society, a mutual insurance and benefit club, of which CD served as treasurer for thirty years (LL 1: 142).


LL: The life and letters of Charles Darwin, including an autobiographical chapter. Edited by Francis Darwin. 3 vols. London: John Murray. 1887–8.


Announces birth of his fourth son, Leonard.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Stevens Henslow
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 93: A96–A97
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1293,” accessed on 29 May 2023,

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