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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. S. Henslow   [4 or 11 October 1831]

17 Spring Gardens


My dear Henslow

I called on your Brother yesterday & paid him the 7’12. which I owe you: & he told me that he was going to send a parcel to you: so that I seize the opportunity of writing to you on the subject of consingment.— I have talked to every body: & you are my only resourse; if you will take charge, it will be doing me the greatest kindness.— The land carriage to Cambridge will be as nothing compared to having some safe place to stow them; & what is more having somebody to see that they are safe.— I suppose plants & Bird skins are the only things that give trouble: but I know you will do what is proper for them.—

Will you give me as minute instructions about the directing, as if you were writing to an Otaheite1 savage: or what will be better make a scetch of lid of box, & on it direction, precisely & every letter, as if it was one I was going to send it off from any remote place.— About paying for them, I should think the best plan will be, after the arrival of one or two cases, to write to my Father, & he will place the sum to your account at any bank in Cambridge you may choose:— I will write to him on the subject: I am so very busy, as never was anything like it before: I have hardly time to look about me: I suppose we do not sail till November, so that I will, of course write to you from Devonport.— Mr. Brown has been of great use to me, & most exceedingly pleasant & goodnatured.—

Your Brother must think me a regular practised swindler, for most unluckily I gave him the money sealed up; which most properly he opened when lo & behold there was 6 instead of 7’10: I am sure he will think for the future you are very rash to trust me.—

Will you be kind enough to write to me, before I leave London on Sunday 16th. about consingements

Believe me, my dear Henslow | Yours ever sincerely obliged | Chas. Darwin.—




Asks JSH to take charge of his consignments of specimens from the voyage.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Stevens Henslow
Sent from
London, Spring Gardens, 17
Source of text
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Henslow letters: 8 DAR/1/1/8)
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 140,” accessed on 21 April 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 1