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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Josiah Wedgwood III   25 [April 1853]1



Dear Jos.

I am very much obliged to you for giving yourself so much trouble & going so thoroughly into the Puzzle; & for all your clear statements.2

I received the conclusive document this morning from you. The whole has been an odd mistake.—

Yesterday I wrote an enormous letter to you, in which I traced the marriage settlement, & proved that the £5000 must have been Emma’s; but this masterly demonstration is now rendered superfluous, & you are spared reading a very long letter.

I do not understand in the least about the advantages of the Trust: but Erasmus seemed to think it safest to keep all things as they have been, & as it will cause very little trouble (& none for Dividends, as they send coupons for 7 years) I will transfer the Newcastle & Carlisle shares to you two in place of the Leeds & Bradford, & that makes all right, in fact £500 more than ought to be in trust by your yesterday’s statement. Erasmus had better keep the certificates, I shd. think, when signed by you.—

Do you understand whether it is of any consequence the declaration which was cancelled; it applied, I presume to Major Owen’s mortgage3 & not to Lord Powis’s.— I never had any declaration about the other Trust Property. Yet Mr Salt would not have drawn out the Paper without some use. What must be done?

Yours affecly | C. Darwin

I have asked Eras. to give me a list signed of the Securities which he holds as Trustee.


This and the letter to E. A. Darwin, 26 [April 1853], are dated by their relationship to the record of the transfer of shares in CD’s Investment book (Down House MS), 1 May 1853 (p. 57).
See Correspondence vol. 4, letter to Salt & Son, 26 November [1850], n. 2. CD had mistakenly received shares in the Leeds and Bradford Railway company from Emma Darwin’s trust fund; in order to rectify the error, an equivalent sum was transferred to the names of Emma’s trustees in the form of Newcastle and Carlisle Railway shares. These transactions were recorded in CD’s Investment book on 1 May 1853 (Down House MS).
Two mortgage loans which involved Emma’s trust funds are listed in CD’s Investment book (Down House MS): one to Edward James Herbert, Earl of Powis, the other to William Mostyn Owen. Emma had contributed £5000 to each. CD apparently confused the two mortgages in this letter, since it was Emma’s contribution to the Powis mortgage, not the Owen mortgage, which had necessitated the share transactions described in n. 2, above. See also the postscript to the letter to E. A. Darwin, 26 [April 1853].


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.


Discusses the [CD/Emma] marriage trust.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Josiah Wedgwood, III
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 210.10: 21
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1379,” accessed on 8 June 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 5