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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Caroline Darwin   1–4 May 1833

May 1st | 1833.

My dear Charles—

I am afraid there is little chance of your getting this letter as Capt. Beaufort in his note to Papa said he thought you would not receive any letters we wrote for some time after those the last we sent through the Admiralty office the middle of March— I hope you received them safe— Our last letter from you was dated 24th of November just before you began your southern expedition. My dear Charles how happy I shall be when we get your next letter with a good account of yourself after your stay in those cold & stormy regions. Very little has happened at home since we last wrote— I have been staying 3 weeks in Staffordshire at Maer & a few days at Betley—the John Wedgwoods were at Maer the greatest part of the time. Only Aunt Bessy Elizabeth & Jos were there of the family—it seemed very strange & melancholy to see so small a family party Uncle Jos finds he bears the fatigue & late hours of Parliament very well & is very much interested he is a strong ministerial supporter & can’t bear the radicals—

Emma Wedgwood went to attend Charlotte Hollands marriage with Mr. John Isaac & then went to London with Mrs. Holland & Louisa. She has since been visiting the Langtons at Ripley— the rest of the Maer family went to London this week where they will remain some months visiting their friends—

Susan & Cath have a very nice scheme of joining Harry & Jessie & taking lodgings for 3 weeks in London this spring—they set out the 21st of this month— We heard from Erasmus who seems very happy & seemingly leading a dissipated life for him. Mr & Mrs. Evans1 of Portrane are in London & he sees a good deal of them. Mr Evans is in Parliament for the County of Dublin— Erasmus is going to the meeting of the Philosophers at Cambridge in June—2 he is going to visit Frederic Hilyard— Louisa Leighton was married to Mr. Hope last Tuesday, there was an immense crowd all St. Chads place quite full the Leightons had a dance afterwards to which Catherine & Caroline Owen went. Susan was not well with a cold & stayed at home. Susan is gone this week with Mr & Mrs Cotton to stay with Wm. Clives at W. Pool—3 Woodhouse is strangely altered since your days only that quiet Caroline at home & hardly ever any company. Francis is at home at present. They have had very pleasant letters from Arthur Robert Clive returned from India a few weeks ago, not to go back again. We have hardly seen him yet. he is grown very brown & looks much older from the last 3 years he has been away. Arthur Owen was staying in the same house with him in India— Robert Clive speaks very well of him Poor Fanny Biddulph is in daily expectation of her confinement— Mr B— quarreled with his Landlord & they had to move their lodgings last week— the night they got to them they were awoken by a smell of fire & it was discovered a beam was on fire connected with one of the chimneys— poor Fanny was in a gre⁠⟨⁠at⁠⟩⁠ fright & for some hours in momen⁠⟨⁠tar⁠⟩⁠y expectation of being obgd to leave the house, but before morning the fire was put out & she has not suffered from her fright.— Emma Owen is grown a very pretty girl— she is staying with Sarah Williams in London. My Father is grown quite larky— he is going next week to see York & I go with him. We go by Liverpool & return by Doncaster where we shall see Newstead Abbey which I shall like— My Fathers breathing is certainly much better this summer than it was last year. Capt Harding4 called here a few days ago— I did not see him but my Father & Susan were very glad to hear about you from him— Capt Harding is looking himself very delicate, he wants to go at once to St. Helena & marry Miss Dona Dallas, but his friends will not allow him till he gets stronger—

Tom Wedgwood has been staying with us. he says Robert is becoming a great farmer he has taken several fields from Uncle Jos, keeps pigs, cows & did keep 17 ducks but they came to a lamentable end, as after they had begun to lay Uncle Jos said they eat the potatoes & must be taken from the Pool. Robert obeyed & is obgd to eat his ducks instead breeding from them as he intended—

Pincher & Nina are very well I am riding your Grey & every thing & every body are going on just as when the last monthly letter went so you must not mind such twaddly dull letter— the orchard is looking beautiful in full blow. I guess you see no such pretty sights in Patagonia

Good bye my very dear Charley | All join in kindest love | Evr yr affctne| Caroline Darwin

May 4th.



The third meeting of the British Association took place in Cambridge, June 1833.
Welshpool, Wales. William Clive was Vicar of Welshpool.
Captain Francis Harding had recently returned from service in the South American station of the Fleet (O’Byrne 1849).


O’Byrne, William R. 1849. A naval biographical dictionary: comprising the life and services of every living officer in Her Majesty’s Navy, from the rank of admiral of the fleet to that of lieutenant, inclusive. London: John Murray.


News of family and friends.

Letter details

Letter no.
Caroline Sarah (Caroline) Darwin/Caroline Sarah (Caroline) Wedgwood
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 204: 76
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 205,” accessed on 6 February 2023,

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