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Darwin Correspondence Project

From John Lubbock   4 September 1863

15, Lombard Street. E.C.

4 September 1863

My dear Mr. Darwin

It is an age since I have heard of or seen you. Is it any use asking whether you will come & see us in any way? Either (which you know we should like best) staying a few days with us, or coming to dine or lunch?1 or if you cannot do any of these are you well enough to see me? I know you will not hesitate to say so if you do not feel up to it.

I am just back from a trip to Norway, Sweden, & Denmark, which we have enjoyed very much.2 Have you heard that they have made me President of the Ethnological Society? are you a member, if not I wish you would think of it.3

But I will not attempt to tell you the news as I shall hope to see you before long.

With my kind regards to Mrs Darwin believe me, dear Mr Darwin, | Yours affectly | John Lubbock


Lubbock lived at Chislehurst, a village about five miles north of Down (Post Office directory of the six home counties 1862). The address given is that of Robarts, Lubbock & Co., the banking firm in which Lubbock was a partner (Post Office London directory 1863); Lubbock travelled into London daily (Hutchinson 1914, 1: 52).
According to his diary (British Library, Add. Ms. 62679: 64 v.), Lubbock travelled in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark with his wife, Ellen Frances, and a friend, between 7 July and 1 September 1863. During the tour they visited some of the Danish kitchen-middens, or prehistoric refuse heaps, about which Lubbock had previously published a paper (Lubbock 1861; see Hutchinson 1914, 1: 61).
Lubbock was elected president of the Ethnological Society at the anniversary meeting on 19 May 1863 (Athenæum, 23 May 1863, p. 686). CD was made an honorary fellow of the Ethnological Society in 1861 (see Correspondence vol. 9, letter to James Hunt, 28 May [1861]).


Athenæum. 1844. A few words by way of comment on Miss Martineau’s statement. No. 896 (28 December): 1198–9.

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

Hutchinson, Horace Gordon. 1914. Life of Sir John Lubbock, Lord Avebury. 2 vols. London: Macmillan.

Post Office directory of the six home counties: Post Office directory of the six home counties, viz., Essex, Herts, Kent, Middlesex, Surrey and Sussex. London: W. Kelly & Co. 1845–78.

Post Office London directory: Post-Office annual directory. … A list of the principal merchants, traders of eminence, &c. in the cities of London and Westminster, the borough of Southwark, and parts adjacent … general and special information relating to the Post Office. Post Office London directory. London: His Majesty’s Postmaster-General [and others]. 1802–1967.


Has returned from trip to Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.

Has been made President of the Ethnological Society.

Letter details

Letter no.
John Lubbock, 4th baronet and 1st Baron Avebury
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Lombard St, 15
Source of text
DAR 170: 40
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4291,” accessed on 26 February 2020,

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