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Darwin Correspondence Project

To George Henry Turnbull   [16? February 1863]1



My dear Sir

My little hot-house is finished & you must allow me once again to thank you sincerely for allowing Horwood to superintend its erection.2 Without his aid I should never have had spirit to undertake it;—and if I had should probably have made a mess of it.— It will not only be an amusement to me, but will enable me to try many little experiments, which otherwise would have been impossible.—3

With sincere thanks | My dear Sir | Yours sincerely & obliged | Ch. Darwin


The date is established by the relationship between this letter and the letters to J. D. Hooker, 30 January [1863] and 15 February [1863], and by reference to the payment of £4 5s. to John Horwood, on 16 February 1863 (see n. 2, below); in 1863, 16 February was a Monday.
Horwood was Turnbull’s gardener at The Rookery, Down, Kent. Payments to Horwood, ‘for Hot-house’, are detailed in CD’s Account book–cash accounts (Down House MS). CD spent a total of £85 11s. 1d. constructing and equipping the hothouse in 1863 (see also Appendix VI).
An indication of the plants on which CD intended to experiment is given by two contemporary lists of hothouse plants in CD’s hand, reproduced in Appendix VI.


Thanks for letting Horwood superintend erection of hothouse.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
George Henry Turnbull
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 261.11: 5 (EH 88206057)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3893,” accessed on 13 June 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 11