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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Higgins   9 May [1850]

Down Farnborough Kent

May 9th

My dear Sir

From what you say I must accord my consent to your proposition of a reduction of Rent of 15 per cent for the past half-year & can only hope the present depressed times will not last.1

Prices I understand, have been as low before under Protection,2 & in France at present they are very low, so that I see no cause whatever to despair. I suppose Mr Hardy3 is an active man & does not content himself with merely complaining about the altered laws.—

I hope that he has nothing of any kind to complain of.

We must hope for better times4

I remain | dear Sir | Yours very faithfully | C. Darwin


British farmers and landowners were finding it difficult to adjust their operations to the reduced prices of corn and other crops; their dissatisfaction was loudly expressed in Parliament and at public meetings during the first few months of 1850 (Annual Register 1850, History, p. 2). Some wished a return to protectionism, others a remission of taxes on the landowner.
The repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846 had led to a decline in prices. Early in 1849 the duty on foreign cereal imports was also abolished.
Francis Hardy, CD’s tenant.
CD’s income from the farm remained at the reduced rate during 1850, 1851, and 1852 (see letter to John Higgins, 13 December [1850], and Correspondence vol. 5, letters to John Higgins, 7 June 1851 and 19 June [1852]).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.


Agrees to reduce rent on farm because of bad times.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Higgins
Sent from
Source of text
Lincolnshire Archives (HIG/4/2/1/32)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1326,” accessed on 23 June 2021,

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