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Darwin Correspondence Project

From James Caird   3 January 1881

3, St. James’s Square, | S.W.

Jany 3. 81

Dear Mr. Darwin

Farrer has sent for my perusal the papers inclosed with your letter to him of 30 Dec.1

I have read them with great interest, and think it would be a great pity for Mr. Torbitt to discontinue his Experiments. In this Mr. Farrer agrees—and we both think that none of the money should be returned—but that if you will be so good as to hold and disburse it as you deem proper, that will be the best course.2

I notice that Mr. Torbitt desires to send specimens for trial to “friends of the Cause.” If he will send a bag (carefully distinguishing the specimens) to my Gardener.

Mr. John Murray | Gardener | Cassencary. | Creetown—3 N. B. I will instruct Murray to treat them with care—& report the result. The communication between Belfast & Creetown—(Kirkcudbrightshire) is convenient and daily.

With the kind wishes of the season | Believe me Dear Mr Darwin | yours sincerely | James Caird


CD had sent Thomas Henry Farrer a report of James Torbitt’s experiments in breeding a blight-resistant variety of potato, a statement of Torbitt’s expenses, and extracts from two letters (see Correspondence vol. 28, letter to T. H. Farrer, 30 December 1880 and n. 2).
CD, Farrer, Caird, and several others had contributed to a subscription to support Torbitt’s work (see Correspondence vol. 28, letter to James Torbitt, 6 March 1880).
Cassencary, near Creetown in Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland, was a sixteenth-century tower house, bought by Caird in 1866 (Groome 1882–5). John Murray (1847–1925) was the gardener.


Groome, Francis. 1882–5. Ordnance gazetteer of Scotland. Edinburgh: T. C. Jack.


JC and Farrer are impressed with Torbitt’s papers. Will continue financial support.

Letter details

Letter no.
James Caird
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, St James’s Square, 3
Source of text
DAR 161: 6
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 12974,” accessed on 4 March 2024,