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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Lubbock   17 December [1859]1

Down Bromley Kent

Dec. 17th

Dear Lubbock

I enclose draft & memorandum, which I hope will make all clear.— I have not paid to you Ld. Cranworth’s subscription for Sunday School, as I understand Mr Stephens collects that.—2 I have paid Lady Lubbocks 300 to him. Please ask Mr Deacon to send me a receipt for Rent with dates.—3 A pretty job of nearly two hours I have had in squaring the Charity accounts, as I do not understand proper manner of keeping them.4

I am delighted to hear that you are on my or rather our side; I feared from a former note that you were changing your opinion.— I shall be very glad to see you any day.

Sir John called here yesterday, about Rifle-Club.5 How admirably he is doing the work. He is worth half a dozen Bromley Committees. I have been quite ashamed at the poor figure Kent has cut in the Newspapers.— Please tell Sir John (so that I will not trouble him with separate note) that my Butler Parslow is enthusiastic & quite proud to join the Down Volunteers, & I am sure that he will do his best.— I wish I were strong enough to join.—

Farewell till we6 | yours very truly, but in a very savage frame of mind against £: s: d.— | C. Darwin

P.S | I shall be in London next Thursday Friday & Saturday; I hope these may not be your days at High Elms.—7


Dividend from Trust Fund Mr Phillips 10 1 10

Mr Phillips Subscription. National School 1 1

Ld Cranworths do do 5 5

Mr Darwins Rent to Sir J. Lubbock

Mr D. wd be obliged to Mr Deacon to send

receipt, with dates of period for which Rent is due 2 7 1

18 14 11

Deduct Mr Lubbock Subscription to Friendly Club 10

18 4 11


The year is given by an entry in CD’s Account book (Down House MS), dated 17 December 1859, recording the sums mentioned in the letter.
CD’s Address book (Down House MS) lists a Rev. T. S. Stephens in Down.
Mr Deacon was possibly the Lubbocks’ steward, in which capacity he would have been responsible for their accounts.
CD was treasurer of the Down Friendly Club and the Down Coal and Clothing Society. See also letter to John Lubbock, 12 December [1859].
John William Lubbock established a local rifle club in Down as the village’s contribution to the volunteer movement, which was a response to the threat of invasion by France. CD began subscribing to the club in August 1859 (CD’s Account book (Down House MS)). In the event of an invasion, the county of Kent would probably have been the first region called upon to defend Britain.
CD apparently forgot to complete the sentence when he turned over the page.
High Elms was the Lubbock family residence. John Lubbock spent much of the week at his house in London.


Local affairs and finances.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Lubbock, 4th baronet and 1st Baron Avebury
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 263: 31 (EH 88206480)
Physical description
ALS 4pp, encl 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2586,” accessed on 8 June 2023,

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