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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Edward Cresy   25 August [1860]1

Down Bromley Kent

Aug. 25th

My dear Sir

Thank you for your note.—   My object in calling on you was chiefly selfish; for it was to ask a little advice on education of one of my Boys,—on which subject I remembered to have heard you once talk as if you had thought over the subject.—2 I want to propose to Mrs Cresy & yourself, instead of walking over here, to take us on your way home & come to dinner & sleep here, & in all probability we can send you on to the station at Bromley.3 But I am bound to tell you that we are a dismal house: my daughter has been very ill for 15 weeks, but is very slowly recovering, yet Mrs. Darwin has to be with her much of her time, & I am on most days a poor wretch unable to sit a whole evening even with my nearest relations; but if you will put up with this & accept good will, it will give us great pleasure if you will come here.—

Mrs Darwin would have written to Mrs Cresy, but I have said that I felt sure she would excuse her doing so.—

I hope that you will adopt my plan, instead of walking here & believe me | My dear Sir | Yours very sincerely | Charles Darwin


The year is given by an entry in Emma Darwin’s diary (see n. 3, below).
CD may have wanted to discuss the future education of Leonard Darwin, aged ten, whom he considered ‘rather slow & backward (in part owing to loss of time from ill-health)’ (letter to G. V. Reed, 15 September [1860]). He intended to send Leonard to George Varenne Reed for tutoring before entering school. Francis Darwin, who had been tutored by Reed, entered Clapham Grammar School, London, in the summer of 1860. See J. R. Moore 1977.
Emma Darwin’s diary records that Edward Cresy and his wife arrived at Down on 18 September 1860. According to CD’s Address book (Down House MS), the Cresys lived in Horton Kirby, near Farningham, Kent, about nine miles from Down.


Moore, James Richard. 1977. On the education of Darwin’s sons: the correspondence between Charles Darwin and the Reverend G. V. Reed, 1857–1864. Notes and Records of the Royal Society 32 (1977–8): 51–70.


Invites EC to visit. Wants to discuss education of his sons.

Daughter [Henrietta] has been very ill for 15 weeks.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Edward Cresy, Jr
Sent from
Source of text
Private collection
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2899,” accessed on 29 September 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 8