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Darwin Correspondence Project

From S. H. Haliburton   8 September [1881]1

Pavilion Hotel | Folkestone

Septr 8th.

My dear Charles Darwin

I cannot refrain from offering to you my very sincere condolences on the loss of your Brother, for I know it must be a great sorrow to you, & I must always sympathize in all that concerns you—2 When I last saw Erasmus, this Spring, he appeared much in his usual health—

I am here, & have been, for more than three weeks, in attendance on my poor Sister Sobie, who returned from Aix les Bains in a most wretched state, & she has ever since been dangerously ill, Inflammation of the Lungs, & her Heart also affected, her recovery is more than doubtful, & her sufferings are sad to witness—3 Fanny Biddulph is here also, she desires many kind remembrances to you—4

Believe me always | Most sincerely Your’s | S H Haliburton

Do not take the trouble to answer this, I only wished to assure you, that your trouble had not been disregarded by me—


The year is established by the reference to Erasmus Alvey Darwin’s death.
Erasmus Alvey Darwin had died on 26 August 1881. Haliburton had been a neighbour and friend of CD and Erasmus in Shrewsbury before her marriage.
Sobieski Mostyn Owen, Haliburton’s youngest sister, died in September 1882 (England & Wales, national probate calendar (index of wills and administrations), 1858–1995 (, accessed 6 November 2020)). Aix-les-Bains is a spa town in south-east France.
Fanny Myddelton Biddulph had been a close friend of CD before the Beagle voyage (see Correspondence vol. 1).


Condolences on death of Erasmus.

Letter details

Letter no.
Sarah Harriet Mostyn Owen/Sarah Harriet Williams/Sarah Harriet Haliburton
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 166: 87
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 13323,” accessed on 19 May 2024,