skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

From Catherine & Caroline Darwin   11 April [1826]


Tuesday Evening— | April 11th.—

My dear Charles,

For fear you should entirely forget that there is such a person as myself in the land of the living, I will begin an epistle to you, though our correspondence really has come to such a dead stop, that it requires some courage so to do.— I am very glad that we shall be able to renew our acquaintance in so short a time. I long to see you again, my very dear Bobby, and I hope we shall have some very nice walks and talks together again.— You will have heard from Erasmus that Eliza and Jessie Wedgwood are staying with us now, and we expect Uncle John and Aunt Jane on Monday— I should like you to see Jessie again; I am sure you would like her; she is so very merry and pleasant, and I think very pretty—

We have all been taking to gardening very vigorously, and shall expect some very elegant compliments from you on its beauty; and I assure you it is very gay, and much admired.—

Erasmus’ Friend, Mr Pryce (who is come to be a Master for three years at the Schools) and 2 other unfortunate Masters Mr Wakefield, and a Mr Hubble- Bubble1 or some such name, dined here yesterday— We all liked Pryce; he seems very gentlemanly and agreeable.— it is a pity he should stupify for so long a time “teaching the young ideas how to shoot.”— I am reading your favourite Southeys Peninsular War, and like it exceedingly— Do you remember the account of the seige of Saragoza?2 one cannot conceive any thing more dreadful— The 2d Volume is come out, and we are going to order it in the Society; it really is the greatest labour of Hercules I ever undertook.— I am glad you are become a politician, and hope you will teach me a little. Susan is hotter than ever about Slavery— John Bull pretending that the Slaves lead a life of Comfort and Happiness really seems as if he was quizzing the subject.— Little Harriet Perkins is dead, which is a very happy release from all her sufferings in my opinion.— We make Erasmus very useful by taking him about among the Poor; he has acquired a very high reputation for doctoring them, and has got a great many Patients.— I suppose you have heard what a gay party we were at the Assizes, and how capitally Harry flirted with the Miss Owens— Fanny Owen has quite the preference to Sarah among all the gentlemen, as she must have every where; there is something so very engaging and delightful about her.—

Shelah’s puppy is really quite a sight to be seen; it is as broad as it is long, and Shelah also has been sadly corrupted, and nearly rivals her child in fat— That savage Turk is gone from Overton to my great joy; I think he was as much your abomination as mine.— Archdeacon Owen has got St Mary’s in Mr Blakeway’s place;3 it is not yet known who will have St Julian’s.— Caroline wants the rest, so I must stop— Good Bye my dear Bobby. | Ever yrs affectionately | E. Catherine Darwin

Thank you dear Charles for your very kind affection⁠⟨⁠ate⁠⟩⁠ letter, you can not tell how much I value your love— I am very glad we shall have you at home again soon. & Papa is very glad that you have remained to attend all the Lectures, as he is sure they will be useful to you. he wants to know if you are thinking of any excursion in your way home to see any new country that you did not pass through as you went to Edinburgh— Papa is rather surprised at your going to Glasgow as there is nothing worth seeing in your way there, & he should have thought it a better plan to leave as much of your heavy luggage as you can in Edinburgh as you will return there & so not have the plague of the carriage of it backwards & forwards— shall you travel down with Johnson, or alone? Mr. Galton4 has sent you a letter of introduction to Mr. Horner5, a friend of his, & a very clever agreeable man, Erasmus tells me you will very gladly accept any letters of introduction—particularly to pleasant people like the Horners, & if you will call with it I dare say they will be very civil to you.

Papa’s love & he has sent you £20—which he supposes will answer your purpose— Eliza & Jessie Wedgwood are staying here & desire their love to you— Uncle John & Aunt Jane come on Monday; yesterday 3 of Eras’s friends dined here. Price, Wakefield & a man whose name we never could remember or pronounce better than Hubblebuble— There were at dinner some things which were called Mushrooms—but we suspected them to be toadstools —they were black, & tough & Jessie after eating some the day before has complained of Vertigo & stomach ache Eras allows to be signs of poison— These unfortunate young men Messrs. Wakefield & Hubblebuble eat of the said black dish—in the evening they became silent, at ten oclock tottered out of the room, & no more has been heard of them.

But to change from nonsense to grave matters. I must say dear Charles how glad I am you have been studying the bible— I agree with in liking St Johns the best of the Gospels I am very fond of that short Epistle of St. James, as well as St. Johns— I often regret myself that when I was younger & fuller of pursuits & high spirits I was not more religious—but it is very difficult to be so habitually—

I think you met the Tollets6 once at Maer. poor Gorgiana Tollet has had an abscess in her arm, & to save her life has been obliged to have it cut off, she bore the operation with out a scream or groan— Good bye dear Charles, I did ⁠⟨⁠no⁠⟩⁠t shew you[r] letter | Ever your affection⁠⟨⁠ate⁠⟩⁠ | Caroline Darwin

The plant is Ranunculus Ficaria?


Southey 1823, ch. 9, ‘The siege of Zaragoza’, pp. 398–424.
Leonard Horner, geologist and organiser of Whig meetings in Edinburgh at this period.
The Tollets of Betley Hall near Maer were close friends of the Wedgwoods (see Emma Darwin 1: 52).


Southey, Robert. 1823. History of the Peninsular War. Vol. 1. London.


Family and Shrewsbury news. Visits of relatives and friends.

Letter details

Letter no.
Emily Catherine (Catherine) Darwin/Emily Catherine (Catherine) Langton; Caroline Sarah (Caroline) Darwin/Caroline Sarah (Caroline) Wedgwood
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Shrewsbury AP 14 1826 153
Source of text
DAR 204: 24
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 31,” accessed on 22 May 2022,

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