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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. E. Darwin   3 January [1881]

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. | (Railway Station | Orpington. S.E.R.)

Jan 3d

My dear old W.

You have been very good to take so much trouble for me.— I have been particularly glad to get particulars about Teg Down, though Heaven knows whether I shall be able to make much use of your most laborious observations.—1 I had forgotten what a lot of work you did for me, you good old fellow.—

I shall be glad of the other observations about some escarpment near Winchester.—2

Did you destroy Geikie’s letter which was in his book,—if not please return it at once, as there was a sentence which may be of use.—3

Very many thanks about the investment letter: you ought to have seen how Sara turned up her nose, when I showed her your letter, & said it was a very interesting one.—4

I will go in for “Massachussett State Loan” or “Penn. General mortgage”.—5

What do you think about Southampton Docks for your Mothers 1000£,—either a little more or less— The 50£ for the Miles—hardly signifies—6

Your affectionate Father | Ch Darwin


William had sent diagrams and notes that he had made in 1872 on the thickness of the mould on Teg Down near Winchester, Hampshire (see Correspondence vol. 28, letter from W. E. Darwin, 31 December [1880] and n. 3).
William had made notes on St Catherine Hill, a chalk hill near Winchester (see Correspondence vol. 28, letter from W. E. Darwin, 31 December [1880] and n. 4).
CD refers to the letter from James Geikie, 20 December 1880 (Correspondence vol. 28). CD had offered to lend William his copy of James Geikie’s Prehistoric Europe: a geological sketch (J. Geikie 1881; see Correspondence vol. 28, letter to W. E. Darwin, 2 December 1880).
CD showed Sara Darwin the letter from W. E. Darwin, 1 January [1881]. Sara had spent time at Down after Christmas (letter from Emma Darwin to Sara Darwin, [13 January 1881] (DAR 219.1: 140)).
See letter from W. E. Darwin, 1 January [1881]. CD purchased 1600 general mortgage bonds in the Pennsylvania Railroad Company on 11 January 1881 (CD’s Investment book (Down House MS)); there are no entries for Massachusetts State Loan.
William had suggested buying stock in the Southampton Dock Company (see letter from W. E. Darwin, 1 January [1881] and n. 5. Emma Darwin had inherited £1000 from her sister, Elizabeth Wedgwood. Elizabeth had also left money to her servants, Samuel and Caroline Miles, and to their daughter, Alice.


Geikie, James. 1881. Prehistoric Europe: a geological sketch. London: Edward Stanford.


Thanks WED for some earthworm observations.

Discusses investments.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Erasmus Darwin
Sent from
JA 4 81
Source of text
DAR 210.6: 170
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 12973,” accessed on 4 March 2024,