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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Lubbock   [6 March 1857]1

57 Queen Anne St., | Cavendish Square


Dear Lubbock

It is true that it is against rules to be proposed under 18 as I found out to my sorrow; for Willy was going to be elected as one of the 8, being mistaken for me!!2 and as there was some fuss about it, I thought it incumbent to write to Committee, stating my utter ignorance of rules and withdraw his name. On other hand I have reason to believe that annually the Rule is often broken. As I did not know the rule when I seconded you, I have no scruple.3 But it depends on whether you have any reason to suppose that your case will be noticed, or whether of late the Regulation has been attended to, whether you had better withdraw, and on that I really have no means of forming opinion. I have spoken to some to vote, and from all that I can hear from old members, my Brother and others, I should say that your election was certain.

I leave this place on Saturday at about 2 o’clock; so please let me hear either here (if time allows) or at Down, that I may know as soon as I can, whether I shall have to come up on Monday, which I shall of course do to canvass for you, though your name by itself is really quite sufficient. My movements, as you know, are uncertain from health, but I pledge my word to come if able; for if not decently well in truth I could not stand any excitement so late in evening. I think you would hereafter regret if you for no reason gave up being elected.

Ever yours | C. Darwin


Dated by the reference to the forthcoming Athenæum Club elections and to Lubbock’s candidature (see n. 3, below). CD was in London from 4 to 7 March (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)).
Apparently Lubbock had been proposed for membership of the Athenæum Club before his eighteenth birthday in 1852. His name had been put forward by Lord Hotham and seconded by CD. He was elected on 9 March 1857 (see Hutchinson 1914, 2: 166).


Hutchinson, Horace Gordon. 1914. Life of Sir John Lubbock, Lord Avebury. 2 vols. London: Macmillan.


Voting to elect JL [a member of Athenaeum].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Lubbock, 4th baronet and 1st Baron Avebury
Sent from
London, Queen Anne St, 57
Source of text
DAR 146: 71
Physical description
C 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2392,” accessed on 15 July 2024,

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