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Darwin Correspondence Project

From E. A. Darwin   [24 February 1825]


My Dear Bobby.

Many thanks for your letter    The examination1 turned out as I expected in one respect, but how in the name of heaven T.B2 came to be where he is I cant conceive.

You have I suppose by this time felt the good effects of Peiles schorlarship:3 has it turned the Drs head?

I dont know whether to be sorry or glad about your Edinborough plans.4 I think it is ten thousand pities if you do not come to Cambridge (wh. seems to be the case), & I shall venture to add that it is a pity you leave school so soon, but to this latter doctrine you will hardly give credit. It will be very pleasant our being together, we shall be as cozy as possible, & I almost think that when you have arrived at the dignity of a ‘Varsity’ man, that I shall leave of licking you. We shall have some good amusement in scheeming out our plans next summer, & I shall vote setting off as soon as may be after your half-year finishes, for I suppose you wont return for the Quarter, & there will be no earthly use staying at Shrewsbury, for it is out of the question reading there, the Lab on one hand, & no room on the other, whereas if we get domiciled at E— — we can both read like horses that is to say if we like it, & I must apropos, when & where are you to graduate? but this I suppose you dont know.

I am getting a little case-hardening in anatomy; for yesterday seeing a body ex⁠⟨⁠  ⁠⟩⁠ & being Junior they gave me a ⁠⟨⁠    ⁠⟩⁠ deal of the dirty work, & I was not the least annoyed while an old Physician also present kept leaving the room perpetually. I dont fancy it wld. have suited your stomack especially before breakfast—

Write to me again whether you have anything or nothing or both to say In the meantime good Bye | yours, E. D—


The sixth form examinations at Shrewsbury School took place on 6 February 1825 (Shrewsbury School archives).
Thomas Butler, son of the headmaster, was placed fourth in the February examinations. In August 1825 he went on to achieve the highest standing of the school (Examination Records, Shrewsbury School archives).
Thomas Williamson Peile, who had attended Shrewsbury School, won the Davies scholarship in classics at Cambridge in 1825.
‘As I was doing no good at school, my father wisely took me away at a rather earlier age than usual, and sent me (October 1825) to Edinburgh University with my brother’ (Autobiography, p. 46).


Autobiography: The autobiography of Charles Darwin 1809–1882. With original omissions restored. Edited with appendix and notes by Nora Barlow. London: Collins. 1958.


EAD thinks it a pity if CD does not go to Cambridge, but it will be very pleasant for them to be together at Edinburgh, where they should go as soon as possible and read. EAD is getting "case-hardened" in anatomy.

Letter details

Letter no.
Erasmus Alvey Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
FE 24 1825
Source of text
DAR 204: 11
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 13,” accessed on 21 February 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 1