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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Edward Cresy   13 May [1863]1

Down, Bromley, Kent

May 13th.

Dear Cresy

I have been visiting for a fortnight for health sake and your pleasant note was forwarded to me;2 but I delayed writing till my return home this afternoon when I found the maps.3 We have all been studying them with much interest; and it was uncommonly kind in you to think of sending them.

My son George failed at St. John’s; but the tutor gave a very good report of his examination.4 He was unfortunate in not having questions in some of the higher branches of mathematics in which he is best up, as in the Differential Calculus.— But we have now resolved that he shall stay another year at school, as he is yet under 18.5

Our trip has not done my youngest boy or myself much good in health, I am sorry to say.—6 In haste.

Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Edward Cresy, 27 April 1863.
Letter from Edward Cresy, 27 April 1863. The Darwin family had been visiting relatives from 27 April to 13 May 1863 (see ‘Journal’ (Correspondence vol. 11, Appendix II)).
Cresy had sent CD maps of new railway lines in London and Kent (see letter from Edward Cresy, 27 April 1863). For a discussion of the development of the railway network in these regions see H. P. White 1982 and 1987.
George Howard Darwin had entered a scholarship examination at St John’s College, Cambridge (DNB). See letter from Edward Cresy, 27 April 1863 and n. 7.
George was a pupil at Clapham Grammar School, Surrey (DNB).
Horace Darwin accompanied his parents to Hartfield Grove, Hartfield, Sussex, and Leith Hill Place, near Dorking, Surrey, between 27 April and 13 May 1863; the ill health of Horace and CD had prompted the trip (see letter to J. D. Hooker, 23 April [1863], and Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

DNB: Dictionary of national biography. Edited by Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee. 63 vols. and 2 supplements (6 vols.). London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1912. Dictionary of national biography 1912–90. Edited by H. W. C. Davis et al. 9 vols. London: Oxford University Press. 1927–96.

White, Henry Patrick. 1982. A regional history of the railways of Great Britain. Vol. 2: Southern England. 4th edition. Newton Abbot, Devon: David & Charles.


Thanks for maps.

George [Darwin] failed at St John’s [College, Cambridge] and will stay another year at school.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Edward Cresy, Jr
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 143: 323
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4164,” accessed on 27 November 2020,

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