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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. E. Darwin   10 [December 1856]1



My dear old Willy

Mamma is going on perfectly well (as is your beautiful little Brother) & I hope she will make a quicker recovery than usual.— Georgy’s holidays are on 22d. & he will go up to Cumberland Terrace & come back with you;2 as Erny & H. Hemming3 will be in London, we think you had both better stay till Friday 26th or Saturday if Aunt Fanny will ask you.4 And we have written to ask her.— How do you like this plan? This House will be rather dull, as Mamman cannot be perfectly recovered by that time.—5

I thought your skates would not prove of any use, but the dear old Mammy would send them off.—

Parslow rode the grey mare the other day & found her very pleasant & quiet. Today & yesterday were the auction days at At. Sarahs.— The things have sold very well. The Brougham 1012 guineas. The 3 Vases sold for £7 s.— An American clock which cost when new 86 sold for 15s.— The arm chair fetched £6 s 12 d 6.—6

Good Bye my old man. I heartily hope that you will get on well in your examination

Your affect. | C. Darwin

What a nice letter that was of Georgys.—


Dated by the reference to the birth of Charles Waring Darwin.
Emma Darwin noted in her diary that after his school-term ended, George Howard Darwin went directly to the home of Hensleigh and Frances Mackintosh Wedgwood in Cumberland Terrace, London.
Ernest Hensleigh Wedgwood was the son of Fanny and Hensleigh Wedgwood and a fellow student of William Erasmus Darwin’s at Rugby. Henry Hemmings, a servant of the recently deceased Sarah Elizabeth (Sarah) Wedgwood, was probably on his way to Barlaston (see letter to G. H. Darwin and W. E. Darwin, 13 [November 1856]).
According to Emma Darwin’s diary, the Darwin boys stayed with Fanny Mackintosh Wedgwood until Saturday, 27 December, which was William Darwin’s birthday.
Emma Darwin recorded in her diary on 26 December, ‘came down to breakfast’.
CD recorded spending £5 at the sale of Sarah Wedgwood’s goods. An entry in his Account book (Down House MS) on 11 December 1856 lists ‘Furniture At Sarahs Sale. Crockery’.


Writes of arrangements for the end of the school-term.

Condition of Emma and the new baby [C. W. Darwin].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Erasmus Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 210.6: 12
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2019,” accessed on 13 April 2024,

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