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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   11 March [1861]

Down Bromley Kent

March 11th

My dear Hooker

Mrs. Huxley has come here with her children for a change of air, & Huxley has just gone back to London; & says he will come here next Sunday.1 Can I persuade you to come on next Saturday for the Sunday.2 A train leaves the new Victoria Station at 5o P.M. & gets into Bromley at 5o 30 & my carriage shd. meet you & I would send you back early on Monday (if you wished to go) as Huxley must then go. If you can come it would be much pleasure to us all; but I hear from Huxley you are not very well.

Will you send me a line by return of Post; for this reason, I feel bound to ask Carpenter, who about a year ago expressed a wish to this effect, & I shd feel much safer if you were here, as I have been continually knocked up of late. But you must not think of coming if for any reason disinclined; & if you do not come, I shall not ask Carpenter. Perhaps in any case he would not come.—3

We have just made up our minds to go to Malvern about 1st of May for 6 weeks or two months, that I may have a dose of Hydropathy.—4 We continue rubbing in the oil into Etty & hope & think it does her good.—5

Yours affecty. | C. Darwin


Henrietta Anne Huxley and her children, Jessie Oriana, Mariane, and Leonard Huxley, arrived at Down House on 9 March 1861. For the circumstances that prompted the visit, see the letter to T. H. Huxley, 22 February [1861]. In a letter Huxley wrote to Henrietta while she was at Down, he stated: ‘It appears to me, that you are subjecting poor Darwin to a savage Tennysonian persecution. I shall see him looking like a martyr and have to talk double science next Sunday.’ (L. Huxley ed. 1900, 1: 225).
According to Emma Darwin’s diary, Thomas Henry Huxley visited Down on Sunday, 10 March 1861, returning to London the next day. He came back to Down the following Sunday, 17 March. Hooker had arrived on the previous day.
William Benjamin Carpenter came to Down on Sunday, 17 March 1861 (Emma Darwin’s diary). For the deferral of Carpenter’s proposed visit in 1860, see Correspondence vol. 8, letter to W. B. Carpenter, 17 June [1860].
CD refers to James Manby Gully’s hydropathic establishment at Malvern, Worcestershire. The Darwins did not visit Malvern in 1861 but spent the summer in Torquay (see ‘Journal’; Appendix II).
See letters to J. D. Hooker, 8 [February 1861] and 20 [February 1861].


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.


Invitation to Down for weekend with Huxley and W. B. Carpenter.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 115.2: 89
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3085,” accessed on 6 May 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 9