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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. D. Fox   29 [July 1853]

13. Sea Houses | Eastbourne


My dear Fox

Susan has forwarded your letter to her, here.— What a fearful state you have been, & indeed, I fear, still are in.— I hardly ever heard of anyone having passed through a worse ordeal.1 I am deeply rejoiced that your health has as yet stood it. How earnestly both Emma & I hope that your poor little girl may be spared.—2 I write this chiefly to show that I have heard about you.

I am so sorry I sent off my former letter on indifferent subjects to you.—3 But the case has been incomparably worse than I dreamed of. I did not even know how completely the two poor Boys had been domesticated with you.—4 You have our deepest sympathy.

My dear Fox | Very affectionately yours | C. Darwin.

In some weeks or months to come, perhaps you will write to me.


The deaths from scarlet fever of the two boys residing with the Fox family and the serious illness of Fox’s daughter Louisa Mary.
Louisa Mary Fox, born 28 December 1850, died 29 July 1853. (The editors thank Anthony W. D. Larkum for supplying them with a copy of Louisa Mary Fox’s death certificate, and for pointing out that the date of her death given in Darwin pedigree is incorrect.)


Darwin pedigree: Pedigree of the family of Darwin. Compiled by H. Farnham Burke. N.p.: privately printed. 1888. [Reprinted in facsimile in Darwin pedigrees, by Richard Broke Freeman. London: printed for the author. 1984.]


Sympathises with WDF’s tribulations.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Darwin Fox
Sent from
Source of text
Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 83)
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1526,” accessed on 17 April 2024,

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