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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. E. Darwin   13 September [1881]1

My dear old William.—

I am extremely obliged to you for all the great trouble which you took about my money affairs.2 You must have been worked almost to death. After much deliberation with your mother I have decided on the 12 to 7 scale, & have sent instructions to Hacon for a new will.—3 I have decided to divide amongst you all at once, all that I receive from Erasmus, except the Lincoln Land & the Q. A. St. House.—4 You & George will find it not a little difficult to make the division of all the property.—5 George is here & seems rather unusually well. His & Horace’s paper at York on the movements of the level of the ground was a great success, & I have been much interested by reading it in proof.—6 I am reading a book, which I think you wd. like, viz Judds new work on Volcanos which seems to me admirably good, spirited short & clear.—7

I hope that you & Sara will enjoy yourselves, but all people who go to foreign parts are poor benighted creatures.—8 Give my best love to Sara.— | your affectionate Father | C. Darwin

Sept 13th | Down.—


The year is established by the reference to CD’s new will.
William’s letter concerning the value of CD’s estate has not been found. After receiving a substantial bequest from Erasmus Alvey Darwin, CD had asked William to revalue his estate (see letter to G. H. Darwin, 8 September [1881]).
See letter to W. M. Hacon, 11 September 1881. William Mackmurdo Hacon was CD’s solicitor. In a letter dated 13 September 1881, Emma Darwin reported to Henrietta Emma Litchfield that CD had finished ‘settling about his money matters’, and declared that they were ‘enormously rich’ (DAR 219.9: 270).
Erasmus Alvey Darwin had died on 26 August 1881; he had bequeathed half his personal estate and all his real property to CD (see letter from G. H. Darwin, 28 August 1881). Erasmus had lived at 6 Queen Anne Street in London and had property in Lincoln.
George Howard Darwin and Horace Darwin had attended the meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in York as members of the committee appointed for the measurement of the lunar disturbance of gravity; the report, which was ‘written in the name of G. H. Darwin merely for the sake of verbal convenience’, was published in the Report of the 51st Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, held at York (G. H. Darwin 1881c).
John Wesley Judd stated in the preface to his book that his aim was to write about volcanoes from a new standpoint by focusing on investigations that had thrown fresh light upon the subject (Judd 1881).
William and Sara Darwin were on the Continent; in a letter dated 14 September [1881], Emma Darwin thanked Sara for her postcard from Rheims (DAR 219.1: 147).


Darwin, George Howard. 1881c. On an instrument for detecting and measuring small changes in the direction of the force of gravity. Report of the 51st Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, held at York (1881): 93–126.

Judd, John Wesley. 1881. Volcanoes: what they are and what they teach. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, & Co.


Discusses financial affairs.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Erasmus Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 210.6: 182
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 13334,” accessed on 23 July 2024,