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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Stevens Henslow   25 January [1858]

Down Bromley Kent

Jany. 25th

My dear Henslow

I received the day before yesterday the appendix to the allotment Report & I am glad to see how eminently successful your men have been.—1 I have not

written to you, as I thought it would only have troubled & I was very sure that you need not be told how sincerely & deeply I have sympathised with you,—to whom I shall ever owe so much.2 Those old days when I used as an undergraduate to be so much at your house were certainly amongst the most happy & best days which I have ever spent. Never shall I forget to end of my life the uniform & very great kindness of poor dear Mrs. Henslow to me.—3 I hope you are all well & that your health is pretty good: I have heard not a very good account of your appearance.—4 I beg you not to think of answering this note.

My dear friend & most kind old master | Believe me | Yours affectionately |Ch. Darwin


Henslow ran a scheme for providing the farm labourers of his parish in Hitcham, Suffolk, with allotments of land on which they could grow food for their families (Russell-Gebbett 1977, p. 34). The work to which CD refers is Henslow [1858].
Henslow’s wife Harriet had died on 20 November 1857. See Correspondence vol. 6, letter to J. D. Hooker, 21 November [1857], and letter from J. D. Hooker, [2 December 1857].
CD recorded in his ‘Journal’ for 1831, his final year as an undergraduate in Cambridge: ‘During these months lived much with Prof. Henslow, often dining with him, & walking with.’ (Correspondence vol. 1, Appendix I). See also Correspondence vol. 2, letter from Harriet Henslow, 22 November [1838].


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Henslow, John Stevens. [1858]. Appendix to Hitcham allotment report for 1857. Hadleigh, Suffolk.

Russell-Gebbett, Jean. 1977. Henslow of Hitcham: botanist, educationalist and clergyman. Lavenham, Suffolk: Terence Dalton.


Mrs Henslow’s death stirs reminiscences of happier days.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Stevens Henslow
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 93: A50–1
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2207,” accessed on 9 April 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 7