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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. E. Darwin   1 [June 1861]


Saturday 1st

My dear William

I have just heard from Lubbock.1 What mysteries these men of business make!— I am not yet to tell you name of man or place.— But the place is in every respect good in business point of view & one of the nicest towns in England.— I send you the copy of Mr —— letter. (please keep this copy) & of my letter to John Lubbock.2

I have told Lubbock, that if affair progresses; but I need not tell you what I say for I send a copy of my note & you will now see how affair stands. When in London, we would go together to my solicitor’s & have a talk there.—3 You see it is not unlikely that nothing may come of whole affair—Or my solicitors may find something objectionable.—

I do so wish this affair had come on one year later; but time & tide waits for no man.— I wish that you had written on receipt of my second letter; but I infer from not hearing that you keep of same mind.—4 Write on receipt of this.—

My dear old William | Your affect.— | C. Darwin


—May 30 1861

My dear Mr. Lubbock—

Many thanks for your note; I should like very much to know (suppose anything came from your proposition) when Mr Darwin cd arrange to join. I ask this as you say he is about to leave College, & I am very anxious that if any arrangement is come to, that it shd be completed without much delay.

At the same time I think it right to say that I have an offer from another Gentleman who will come down to see me in a day or two, but I doubt if he will be quite an eligible person. I conclude Mr. Darwin will not mind sticking well to business, as I wish to take it rather easier than I have done for the last 18 years.6

I leave it to your discretion to mention my name or not in the matter as you think best, or leave it untill you can answer my question as to time.

Believe me | Yrs very sincerely


The letter from John Lubbock has not been found.
See enclosure. The copy of the letter to Lubbock (see letter to John Lubbock, 1 June [1861]) is in Emma Darwin’s hand. CD marked it at the top in blue crayon: ‘From C. Darwin to J. Lubbock’.
CD used the firm of Rowland and Hacon, solicitors with offices at 31 Fenchurch Street, London.
No letter from William giving his initial reaction to the partnership offer has been found. CD refers to his letter to William of [26 May 1861].
The enclosure is in DAR 210.6. It is a copy, in Emma Darwin’s hand, of a letter written by George Atherley, partner in the Southampton and Hampshire Bank. At the top, CD wrote in blue crayon: ‘(Private) (Keep this)’. The second enclosure, also in DAR 210.6, was a copy of the letter to John Lubbock, 1 June [1861], with blanks in place of ‘Southampton’ and ‘Atherley’.
CD altered the figure from ‘10’ to ‘18’ in blue crayon.


Writes about dealings through John Lubbock regarding [a banking partnership for] WED.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Erasmus Darwin
Sent from
JU 1 61
Source of text
DAR 210.6: 66
Physical description
ALS 4pp, encl 2pp, encl 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3171,” accessed on 17 September 2023,

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