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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Susan Darwin   15[–18] August 1832


August 15th. | 1832

My dear Charles—

We received your last letter to Catherine with one for Mr. Owen dated Rio June: on Saturday last and very great pleasure it gave us to have another happy account of yourself. Tho’ you complain so much of the difficulty of writing we should not have found it out as we could not have had a nicer or more chatty letter than your last.— I think you have found out the way at last of making that idle old Dag write to you by sending him commissions to execute: he has sunk into such a Lethargy in London that it requires three letters from us before we can rouse him to send us a line in return.— I can’t conceive why he has buried himself alive this lovely summer in the dirt of London for he has been talking of coming down & going abroad the last three months yet nothing comes of it.— Mr. & Mrs. Hensleigh are at Maer & coming to see us early in September & I expect that by some chance Erasmus will then appear among us, for there is certainly great attraction in that quarter.— Your account of the fatal effects of Snipe Shooting is very melancholy especially poor little Musters death who was such a merry little animal: I suppose they must have died on Ship board? How fortunate it was you did not join that party which I think you regretted at the time. I hope my dear Charley this will be a warning to you to be exceedingly careful of not over tiring yourself lest you should bring on these fevers Papa sends his most affectionate love to you & bids me again repeat what we have all said continually how much we hope we may depend upon on your not allowing any false shame to prevent your returning whenever you feel inclined it would make us all so happy to have you back again. I am very much pleased to find the quiet Parsonage has still such charms in your eyes. it is so delightful to look forward & fancy you settled there.—and in spite of this marrying year I am sure you will find some nice little wife left for you.— Robert Wedgwood has been here & went on yesterday to the Hill from thence he proceeds to pay Mr. & Mrs. Edward Holland a visit & inspect his own future abode at Dumelton 1 (which it is now called) He has taken to farming & keeps more than 40 Ducks & Fowls, also rents the Maer Pool from Uncle Jos. which I shd. think a doubtful speculation, as I believe he is to give 20 pounds a year for it.— Papa has not been as well as usual lately, he has had the Lumbago & altogether finds the least exertion too much for him: we are persuading him as much as possible to give up going out to see Patients, & then he wd. avoid any hurry or fatigue. The Hot house is a great pleasure & before yr letter came he had sent for a Banana—we eat our first Pine from the Hothouse on Monday last Uncle John being with us who pronounced it very good. Joseph’s head is quite turned by this first production.— Papa desires me to tell you that the Bill for yr money at the Bank had not been presented on the 9th of this Month, but Papa has given directions to have it honored: & he gives consent to the commissions you have sent to ask Erasmus to get.—

Caroline and I set out the day after tomorrow into Derbyshire to pay our long promised visit at Osmaston. I can hardly beleive it is two years since William & Julia were here. I hope all the Sick Sisters will be pretty well as I shall like to get acquainted with them especially Frances Jane. William has not been well enough to do his duty lately so I hope he may be at home.— Caroline would like to meet Bessy Galton to see how the flirtation prospers, but it would put me in a rage to see them together so I hope she won’t be there.— Mrs. Fox is our particular horror, such a turn for Mechanics alarms us. I have just got “Babbage on Machinery”2 & shall certainly study it very diligently as a preparation.— Catherine & I went to Ness yes⁠⟨⁠terday⁠⟩⁠ to join a party on the Hill.3 Owens of course the chief attraction. Woodhouse seems so altered & odd with little Caddy & Francis as props of that once gay house.— Poor Owen is very unwell in London with the Jaundice,—& Sarah has quite lost the Owen constitution she is composing a long letter to you which she has just written to ask me how to direct.— Fanny has been very busy lately canvassing Denbighshire with Mr Biddulph & very successfully. Ld. Kenyons son has no chance against them.—

I daresay Caroline told you in her last letter what a pleasant day we spent at Major Bayleys & how very much he talked about his friend Charles. I have not seen Tom Eyton for an age but whenever I do will certainly urge him to go after you.—

The Cholera has at last reached Shrewsbury but there have not been 20 cases yet & I hope it may soon die away,—Catty I think is more alarmed about it thay anyone else in the household.— The present pet of the house is a young Cuckoo which was taken by some boys out of a Larks nest. I am afraid it will never live to say Cuckoo next Spring.—

We went to a Bowmeeting4 at Pradoe on the 10th of this Month, & we all did nothing but stare at the unfortunate little Bride of Sir Rowland Hill’s who made her first public appearance there. She looks very childish but rather pretty & pleasant looking. She was the great heiress Miss Clegg whose marriage had been kept secret more than a year by that old beldame Mrs Hill who of course contrived it.— After all our plans being settled to go to Osmaston we had a letter yesterday to tell us poor William was again so unwell they cd. not receive us I suppose it is Consumption they fear as his Chest is affected— He had got yr letter & was very much pleased by yr writing to him. What an unfortunate & sickly family the poor Foxes are.— This is a very dull epistle dear Charles but it is merely to tell you we are all well. pray let no opportunity pass without writing it is such a comfort & pleasure to hear from you my dearest C. & will you in future just mention the dates of our letters: So far not one has missed either way which is very comfortable.

God bless you & with all our affectionate Loves Believe me Ever Yrs. | Susan E Darwin

I know I have put H.M.S. wrong in this direction but in future I will do it right if you will pardon me this time.—


Robert Wedgwood became Rector of Dumbleton, Gloucestershire, but not until 1850; the living was under the patronage of Edward Holland (Alum. Cantab.; Clergy list London 1852).
Great Ness and Little Ness, villages about 7 miles north-west of Shrewsbury. The ‘Hill’ is probably Nesscliffe Hill, near Great Ness.
A meeting to practise archery.


Alum. Cantab.: Alumni Cantabrigienses. A biographical list of all known students, graduates and holders of office at the University of Cambridge, from the earliest times to 1900. Compiled by John Venn and J. A. Venn. 10 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1922–54.

Babbage, Charles. 1832. On the economy of machinery and manufactures. London.

Clergy list: The clergy list … containing an alphabetical list of the clergy. London: C. Cox [and others]. 1841–89.


News of family and friends.

Letter details

Letter no.
Susan Elizabeth Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Shrewsbury AU 18 1832
Source of text
DAR 204: 97
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 180,” accessed on 16 May 2022,

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