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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Caroline Darwin   30 March 1835


March 30th. | 1835

My dear Charles

Your last letter was to Cath dated Novr 8th. and extremely interesting— How very kind Mr. Corfield has been & what would have become of you if you had been unable to return to his house before you became so ill— poor dear Charles it is melancholy to think of you ill & suffering for a long month & I am sadly afraid it will be very long indeed before you are as strong & able to bear climate & dangers as you have done— We all cannot help feeling very sorry for your determination of remaining in the Beagle till the expedition is over & indeed it is not only the selfish wish we have to see you again— Do just think whether you are wise to encounter the danger & risk you must do—particularly now the schooner is given up. I do not doubt the enjoyment is extreme but I can not think the weeks of interest & pleasure can equal those of discomfort, danger & separation from all your friends— if there was any certain period for the end of the voyage it would be differt but the time has gone on lengthening & lengthening & it will end by your wasting the best years of your life on ship board. Capt Fitzroys health & spirits not being good certainly adds to ones uneasiness, & I can assure you not a friend you have feel there is the slightest reason for your continuing with the Beagle a day longer than you wish for your own pleasure— You have already made great collections & done much—& it will be a happy day when you are again in England to arrange them— I will teaze you no more dear Charles but do not decide without once more reflecting—

Mr. Owen recevd your letter written on the 9th. & was excessively pleased by it— he wrote a note to my Father quite overflowing with affection & as for Papa himself he was so much affected by thinking of you ill & forlorn that we hardly could mention your name to him all that day— he sends you his kindest most affectionate love I wish you could have heard all Papa said one day when we were talking about you— he wrote to Mr. Corfield at Pitchford to say how grateful he felt for his sons kindness to you— I have had another letter from Charlotte— it is settled that she & Mr Langton go to Rio the end of April where they remain 4 or 5 months & then winter in one of the West Indian Isles. I am sure it would please Charlotte extremely if you would write a few lines to her at Rio. she always enquires & is so much interested about you— I am afraid poor thing she cannot like going to Rio instead of returning to Maer & seeing At. Bessy— all at Maer are very well— At. Bessy’s understanding is fast failing b⁠⟨⁠ut⁠⟩⁠ her health much as usual. Elizabeth has ⁠⟨⁠been⁠⟩⁠ staying the last month at Clapham with the Hensleighs Erasmus is quite devoted to Snow (the eldest of Hensleighs children) he talks very vigourously of going to Switzerland this summer but I am sure he will not be able to leave his darling pet— I heard from Wm. Fox, last week he talks of spending the summer at Barmouth or Beaumaris & paying us a visit on his road— his poor wife has been exceedingly ill all winter, she had a dead child & has never recovd her strength— what a pity in that sickly family that Mrs. W. Fox should prove more delicate than any of them— he enquires most kindly after you—

Cath is at Overton gone to comfort Marianne for the approaching separation from Parky who goes to school at Oswestry at Easter— There is no family news to tell you    Robert is not yet married to Miss Crewe & nobody knows exactly what they are waiting for. she flatters & coaxes his brothers—making flanel waistcoats & buying gingerbread for Allen & pressing Tom to stay at Muxton— when you last saw Robert you little thought you would find him married on your return to a woman more than old enough to be his Mother & such an odious disreputable family to marry into with herself having the reputation of a bad temper. her manner is so sweet & artificial that I fully believe she is not what she seems—& I pity poor Robert for it

I see by the Paper that Professor Henslow has a son.—1 I hoped to have told you some political news but the debate is still going on upon the Irish Church by which Sir R Peel says he will stand or fall—2

Good bye, my very dear Charles all our kindest loves—you are an excellent correspondent & you may believe we do thoroughly value your letters— | Once more bless you & good bye—


George Henslow was born on 23 March 1835 (Alum. Cantab.).
The issue centred on the Irish tithes, paid mainly by Catholics, which provided the Church of England and its bishops with considerable funds. Lord John Russell proposed a resolution to inquire into the actual needs of the Church. Any surplus not required for the spiritual care of its members was to be applied to the education of all classes, regardless of their religious faith. Peel’s ministry opposed the resolution and, when it was passed, resigned on 8 April 1835.


Alum. Cantab.: Alumni Cantabrigienses. A biographical list of all known students, graduates and holders of office at the University of Cambridge, from the earliest times to 1900. Compiled by John Venn and J. A. Venn. 10 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1922–54.


Urges him to return home. News of family and friends; the Langtons will go to Rio in April and then winter in the West Indies. Henslow has a son.

Letter details

Letter no.
Caroline Sarah (Caroline) Darwin/Caroline Sarah (Caroline) Wedgwood
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 97 (ser. 2): 20–1
Physical description
AL 4pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 273,” accessed on 17 May 2022,

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