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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Dear Friend1   3 January 1822

January the 3 1822

My dear friend

I hope you like that inquisitive man Monseur Beodoes,2 when I was a boy I used to think him a most impertinent man but you may differ in your opinion, he always used to be asking about my father and other things; In you last letter you told me you knew, who, my sisters at Shrewsbury were talking of, I think Papa3   you will inform me in return of post

I remain—yours Tobe Case4

P.S. Mr Bayly5 was formerly a devlish boor but I dare say he is not so to you


The friend has not been identified. See this volume, Supplement, letter to Dear Friend, 1 January 1822, n. 1.
‘Monseur Beodoes’ has not been identified. The reference may be to the poet and physician Thomas Lovell Beddoes, whose father, the physician Thomas Beddoes, had been a close friend of the Wedgwood and Darwin families (B. Wedgwood and Wedgwood 1980). ‘Beddoes’ was, however, a fairly common name in early-nineteenth-century Shropshire.
CD refers to two or more of his sisters, Marianne, Caroline Sarah, Susan Elizabeth, and Emily Catherine Darwin, and to his father, Robert Waring Darwin.
The form of the signature is unexplained. CD had previously attended a school run by George Augustus Case in Shrewsbury (Autobiography, p. 22 and n. 1).
CD possibly refers to William Bayley, of the banking firm Rocke, Eyton, Campbell, Leighton and Bayley in Market Square, Shrewsbury, who had been instructed to act in a financial transaction on Robert Waring Darwin’s behalf in January 1820 (DAR 227.6: 339 and 340, Commercial directory for Shropshire). CD’s sister Emily Catherine wrote in her letter of 15 January [1826] that a Major Bayley desired ‘most particularly’ to be remembered to CD (Correspondence vol. 1).


Wedgwood, Barbara and Wedgwood, Hensleigh. 1980. The Wedgwood circle, 1730–1897: four generations of a family and their friends. London: Studio Vista.


"Monseur Beodoes" is inquisitive and impertinent; Mr Bayly "was formerly a devlish boor". Asks who his sisters have been talking about.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Source of text
DAR 271/1/1
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1H,” accessed on 13 April 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 13 (Supplement)