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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Lubbock   [25 May 1861]1


Saturday night

My dear Lubbock

I have been thinking much of your communication about the Bank.2   I was so astonished at it, that I did not collect my wits enough to ask all that I might.— I have just written a long letter to William, & that has made me feel that I have hardly given him data for even a first impression. I know that it is quite likely that the place may be already filled up; but it seems so good an offer as to be well worth deliberation.—

I shd. very much like to ask you a few more questions. I do not like to ask you to call here, so if you will appoint any time whatever tomorrow I will drive down to High Elms, if you can see me.—3 Just send verbal message at what hour.

It was extremely kind in you to think of William, but whether he will be inclined to give up the Law (as I should do under his circumstances), which he thinks he shall like, I know not.—

Yours very sincerely obliged | Ch. Darwin

I can with entire truth say of William that he has excellent sound practical sense & judgment. Though not very clever he was in VI form at Rugby & has got scholarship at Cambridge;4 & has always borne good character at School. He has been steady & never extravagant. I never saw a shade of feeling bordering on untruthfulness or deceit in him. He is energetic in all his pursuits.—


High Elms, the home of the Lubbock family, was on the far side of Down village, approximately 112 miles from Down House.
William in 1857 was in the sixth form, the top year in Rugby School (see Correspondence vol. 6, letter to Syms Covington, 22 February 1857). William had won a scholarship to Christ’s College, Cambridge in 1859 (see ibid., vol. 7, letter to W. E. Darwin, 7 July [1859]).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.


Discusses the possibility of a banking job for William [Darwin]; wishes to meet JL to discuss the prospects.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Lubbock, 4th baronet and 1st Baron Avebury
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 263: 41 (EH 88206485)
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3158,” accessed on 12 September 2023,

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