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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. E. Darwin   15 November [1861]1


Nov. 15

My dear William

I have no wisdom about Stock-Broker. The one whom I long trusted is dead.—2 I have since employed Brokers through the Union Bank.—3 Of whom the first broke, & I suspect caused the Union Bank loss; I know that just as he broke he purchased shares for me.— The second Broker employed by the Union Bank was rather discredited when the great fraud on the Union Bank was discovered.4 I forget the name of Broker now employed; but I know nothing of him personally.—

I have forwarded several “Captain” Letters to Mr Fox.—5 There are many resignations in the Down corps—6

I have had a hard days work & am not up to writing—

What a grand dinner you were at.— I rather hate such magnificence.—7

I hope you will be able to pay us a visit at Christmas. The Boys wish it so much.— I long to hear all sorts of trifling details about your life.—

Farewell | Your tired old | Father | C. D.

We have not horses yet & think we never shall get any! Confound the Croydon man.— I am going up to London on Wednesday to read my Primula paper.—8


The year is given by the reference to CD’s Primula paper (see n. 8, below).
Until his death in 1853, Charles Stokes of Stokes & Hughes, London, had been CD’s broker.
CD banked with the Union Bank of London, with premises in Princes Street.
A serious fraud on the Union Bank of London, committed by the chief cashier William George Pullinger, was discovered in April 1860. Through dealings with several Stock Exchange operators, Pullinger defrauded the bank out of £263,000 (Banking almanac 1861, p. 25; The Times, 21 April 1860).
William wished to resign his commission with the Farnborough Rifle Volunteer Corps (see letters to W. E. Darwin, 22 October [1861] and [27 October 1861]). Thomas Samuel Fox was an ensign in the corps.
After the immediate fear of invasion of England by France had subsided, many members of the voluntary rifle corps, who had first joined in 1859, resigned (see Beckett 1982, pp. 74–5).
William had attended a dinner at the home of a Captain Vignole (see letter from W. E. Darwin, [17 November 1861]).
CD went to London on Wednesday, 20 November 1861 (Emma Darwin’s diary). He read a paper on the two forms of Primula to the Linnean Society of London on Thursday, 21 November 1861 (see Collected papers 2: 45–63).


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

Beckett, Ian Frederick William. 1982. Riflemen form. A study of the Rifle Volunteer Movement, 1859–1908. Aldershot: The Ogilby Trusts.

Collected papers: The collected papers of Charles Darwin. Edited by Paul H. Barrett. 2 vols. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press. 1977.


Discusses stock-brokers; hopes to be able to see WED at Christmas.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Erasmus Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 210.6: 89
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3319,” accessed on 1 June 2023,

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