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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Thomas Henry Huxley   2 April [1856]1

Down Bromley Kent

April 2d.—

My dear Huxley

The Hookers are coming here on the 22d. & I believe Mr Wollaston & H. C. Watson, & I want to persuade you to join us;2 I know from your lectures you could not come on that day,3 but could you not spare a few days, & come here the next day, or if that be not possible on Saturday the 26th, when the Hookers at least will be here.— I do not know how Mrs. Huxley now is; but do you not think a little change might be beneficial to her. My wife desires me to say (& would have written herself, had I not said I was sure that you would excuse the form) that she could be as quiet as she liked, & shd. have a comfortable arm-chair in her bedroom, so as to live upstairs as much as she liked. Do think of the possibility of all this. A coach leaves Silver cross Charing Cross (& another from the Golden Cross) at 314 & would drop you at Farnborough about 13 miles, & there I would have vehicle to bring you the two miles on here.—

A little change is good for man woman & beast, so do reflect favourably, & come if you can, & believe me | Your’s most sincerely | Charles Darwin

Many thanks for the Abstract your lecture, which I was very glad to see


The year is established by CD’s invitation to Huxley to stay at Down (see n. 2, below).
According to Emma Darwin’s diary, Joseph Dalton Hooker and his wife Frances arrived at Down on 22 April 1856. Thomas Vernon Wollaston came on 25 April and the Huxleys on 26 April. No mention is made of Hewett Cottrell Watson.
Huxley, Fullerian professor at the Royal Institution, delivered a course of lectures on physiology and comparative anatomy in 1856 (L. Huxley ed. 1900, 1: 138). One, entitled ‘On Physiology and Comparative Anatomy’, was advertised for 22 April 1856 (Medical Times & Gazette 12 (1856): 404). CD was subsequently invited to attend the lecture (see letter to T. H. Huxley, 9 April [1856]).


Invitation to THH and wife to come to Down to meet H. C. Watson, T. V. Wollaston, and the Hookers.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Thomas Henry Huxley
Sent from
Source of text
Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine Archives (Huxley 5: 46)
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1847,” accessed on 13 September 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 6