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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Lubbock   9 August [1861]1

2. Hesketh Crescent | Torquay

Aug 9th.

My dear Lubbock

Your kindness has been so unbounded & your assistance so valuable that it is no use trying to thank you. You have laid William & myself under an enduring obligation.—2 We have not heard this morning from Mr. Hacon (as I had hoped) his final opinion;3 & we are trying to keep open till tomorrow morning, till we see Mr Hacon’s deliberate opinion; but in fact we shall be far more guided by your general impression, & I think (unless Mr Hacon’s argument should seem very strong) that we shall agree.— The clause certainly seems rather harsh, but a hundred, or rather a thousand, to one, it would never signify.—

When I have written to Mr Atherley tomorrow finally, I will tell you the result.—

I have been twice hunting Lepismas with very little success,—but William went yesterday & this morning & with much difficulty caught 7 or 8; only one is large. It really is almost impossible to get them without injuring them.—4

I send them by this post in tin-Bottle— Please send the Bottle sometime to my House, as it belongs to one of the Boys. If you want more, we will go again to the one spot where we can find them.—

Pray give our thanks to Sir John & Mr Ellice5 & believe me.— Yours cordially obliged | Charles Darwin

I have just had long letter on Species from Kingsley6


The year is given by the Darwins’ stay in Torquay (see ‘Journal’; Appendix II).
Lubbock, a partner with his father John William Lubbock in the London bank Robarts, Lubbock & Co., had informed CD in June that a Southampton banker, George Atherley, was seeking a new partner. He wondered whether William Darwin, who was in his final year of studies at Cambridge University, might be interested in the offer. CD had subsequently relied on the Lubbocks’ advice and mediation concerning the negotiations conducted by his solicitor, William Mackmurdo Hacon. See the letters to John Lubbock beginning with that of [25 May 1861].
Lubbock asked CD and his sons, who were keen entomologists, to collect specimens of Lepisma, the silver-fish (see letter to John Lubbock, 1 [and 2] August [1861]).
The letter from Charles Kingsley has not been found. An avid naturalist, Kingsley had written to CD shortly after the publication of Origin to express his initial approval of the work and his intention to read it carefully at a later date (see Correspondence vol. 7, letter from Charles Kingsley, 18 November 1859).


Banking almanac: The banking almanac, directory, yearbook and diary. London: Richard Groombridge; Waterlow & Sons. 1845–1919.

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

Origin: On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859.


JL’s kindness has laid William and himself "under an enduring obligation". One clause in the partnership agreement seems harsh but will probably never signify.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Lubbock, 4th baronet and 1st Baron Avebury
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 263: 48 (EH 88206492)
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3228,” accessed on 1 October 2023,

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