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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Emma Darwin to G. H. Darwin   [14 October 1881]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. | Railway Station | Orpington. S. E. R.


My dear George

I think the Litches will come home on the 19th or 20th & I think Hen would be very sorry not to see things in statu quo in order that she might fix on something of the furniture & she cd not judge when crowded for sale if she wished it.2 I went up on Tuesday & marked a good many things. You will find a mark on the leather chair you wished for, in case F. should fancy it, but he does not, so you had better mark it— Aunt F. wishes for the little low what-not not the stool w. leather he used to put books & papers on by the sofa & the little pocket Milton.3

Bessy Pearce4 has chosen a very small easy chair in the back drawing room.

We do not wish for any kitchen utensils; but the linen & blankets & all the crockery & glass had better be sent & no doubt a Taylor’s Van wd be the best; & you must engage the same vehicle to carry up some beds & things from here that we wish to send up to the sale.5

I think all the Candlesticks &c that are not chosen might be sent here.

F. & I quite agree with your notion of the gravestone. F’s notion of the inscription is a little different from yours see over.6

Sacred to the Memory


In Memory of

E. A. D. born . . . . &c at Shrewsbury died . . . . &c in London F. is rather for leaving out “Of No 6 Queen Anne St.”

Your wrist is very tedious & provoking. Our visit to Cam. feels very near—7

I suppose you will not come down here on Monday—

Yours dear G | E. D

At F. & F. & I have been so rejoicing in Parnell’s arrest—8


The date is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from G. H. Darwin, 15 October 1881. The Friday before 15 October was 14 October.
Following the death of Erasmus Alvey Darwin, George was organising the sale by auction of the contents of Erasmus’s former home at 6 Queen Anne Street, London. Henrietta Emma and Richard Buckley Litchfield were travelling in Italy (letter from Emma Darwin to H. E. Litchfield, 2 October [1881] (DAR 219.9: 273)).
F.: father, i.e. CD. Aunt F.: Frances Emma Elizabeth Wedgwood. The particular edition of John Milton’s works has not been identified.
An entry in CD’s Account book–cash accounts (Down House MS) records a payment of £16 11s. 3d. to ‘Taylors removing Furniture’ on 18 November 1881; the firm has not been further identified.
No earlier correspondence about the inscription for Erasmus Alvey’s gravestone has been found, but see the letter from G. H. Darwin, 15 October 1881.
The Darwins visited Cambridge from 20 to 27 October 1881 (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)).
The Irish politician Charles Stewart Parnell had been arrested on 13 October for attending demonstrations of the Land League in support of Irish tenant rights and against the provisions of the Land Act (ODNB).


Arrangements for the disposal of the contents of Erasmus Alvey Darwin’s house at 6 Queen Anne Street, London.

The text on EAD’s gravestone.

Letter details

Letter no.
Emma Wedgwood/Emma Darwin
George Howard Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 210.3: 24
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 13400F,” accessed on 8 February 2023,