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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Lubbock   14 December [1859]

Down. Bromley Kent

Dec. 14th

Dear Lubbock

I returned home on Friday night & I saw Mr Phillips on Monday.1 Enclosed is a full memorandum about the School trust money.2 You had better carefully keep this paper.— Would it not be easy to get Power of Attorney for drawing Dividends; & then it would not cost you more trouble than any other Dividend. You could charge the Power to the School; or if you prefer it I would pay half the cost of the Power.—

Mr Phillips has sent me the year’s Divd of 10110 & his own annual Subscription for 11 0.3 Moreover I have now got Ld. Cranworths 550 for School & 220 for Sunday School.4 Shall I send you a draft for this amount.— But it would save me trouble if you would ask your Brother first to send me memorandum about the Rent which I owe Sir John, & I would add it to my draft.5 Further, would you allow me to deduct 10s for your Subscription to Friendly Club, due last Whit Monday, & which I shd. much like to receive for my accounts’ sake during this year.—6 I would enclose a draft with a memorandum of all these items.— Lastly about School, I enclose a Bill, sent into me for you.—

The latter part of my stay at Ilkley did me much good; but I suppose I never shall be strong, for the work I have had since I came back has knocked me up a little more than once. I have been busy in getting a Reprint (with a very few corrections) through the press.— My Book has been as yet very much more successful than I ever dreamed of: Murray is now printing 3000 copies.— Have you finished it?7 if so pray tell me whether you are with me on general issue, or against me.— If you are against me, I know well how honourable fair & candid an opponent I shall have, & which is a good deal more than I can say of all my opponents.— I have had grand letter from Kingsley with a capital sentence on the theological bearing of such notions as mine, & which he permits me to insert in the Reprint.—8

Pray tell me what you have been doing: have you had time for any Natural History?—

Dear Lubbock | Yours most sincerely | C. Darwin

I have got, I wish & hope I might say, that we have got a fair number of excellent men on our side of question on mutability of species.—


The enclosure has not been found. John Lubbock’s father, John William Lubbock, supported a school for girls and infants in Down, the building for which adjoined the church and was purchased in 1855, and also a national school for boys, funded by subscription (Post Office directory for the six home counties 1859). In 1855, the rector of the adjoining parish of Chelsfield had opposed the use of a trust-fund raised by J. W. Lubbock to build a school in Down. See Correspondence vol. 5, letters to J. W. Lubbock, 6 September [1853], 11 October [1853], and 10 January [1855].
CD’s Account book (Down House MS) records on 17 December 1859: ‘Paid for Mr Phillips Funds & Subscription (less 10s for J. Lubbock Friendly Club) £10 12s. 10d.’ See n. 6, below.
Robert Monsey Rolfe, Baron Cranworth, lived in Keston, near Down. The transaction is recorded in CD’s Account book (Down House MS).
CD refers to Beaumont William Lubbock, John Lubbock’s younger brother. CD had since 1846 rented some pasture land at the southern end of his property from John William Lubbock. On this tract he planted trees and laid out the ‘Sandwalk’. See Correspondence vol. 3, letter to John William Lubbock, [16 January 1846].
CD was treasurer of the local savings and insurance society in Down, known as the Friendly Club. The club’s account book, kept by CD, is in the Darwin Archive–Down House.
See letter from Charles Kingsley, 18 November 1859, and letter to Charles Kingsley, 30 November [1859]. Kingsley and Lubbock were friends; in 1855, on one of their outings, they had discovered fossil bones later identified as those of a musk-ox (see Correspondence vol. 5, and Hutchinson 1914,1: 37–8).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

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


Is preparing a reprint of Origin. Asks JL’s opinion on the book’s merits; values his judgment.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Lubbock, 4th baronet and 1st Baron Avebury
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 263: 15 (EH 88206464)
Physical description
ALS 8pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2584,” accessed on 13 September 2023,

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