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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Edward Levett Darwin   7 September 1863


Sept 7. 1863

My dear Cousin

I am very glad to find it was my Cousin I was writing to, for altho our name is not a common one yet there are I know other Darwins.1 Your Wife sent me 2/1 for a copy of the Book and so I have 2d. to return you.2 The Books will be ready to-morrow & I will send you one. I am sure it would be a great thing if the necessity for that trap did not exist but I do not see my way.3 You will find I allude to the difficulty of catching large vermin in my other book.4 I am on the move for the next six weeks and we go to-morrow to my Brother in law Marcus Huish of Castle Donington where we stay a fortnight.5 We have let our House for the 2 months to our Cousins Boteler Bristowe.6

I hope that you will find Malvern agree with you7   I never was there but once when passing through to Worcester. It seemed a very delightful place as far as I remember. I am extremely glad that the “Manual” has been the means of an introduction in an epistolary way and sincerely trust that some day or other it will result in being personal.

Yours very sincerely | Edwd L Darwin

Chr. Darwin Esq | F.R.S.


Edward Darwin was CD’s first cousin, son of his father’s half-brother, Francis Sacheverel Darwin (Darwin pedigree). No other correspondence between CD and Edward Darwin has been found.
Emma Darwin had apparently sent for a copy of the fourth, ‘considerably enlarged’ edition of Edward Darwin’s Game preserver’s manual, which was published in 1863 (E. L. Darwin 1863).
Emma Darwin had apparently sent Edward Darwin a copy of An appeal, a four-page circular concerning the cruelty of using steel traps for catching vermin, which she and CD had privately printed for distribution in August (see letter from G. B. Sowerby Jr to Emma Darwin, 22 July 1863, and Appendix IX). See also letter from Emma Darwin to W. D. Fox, [6–27 September 1863]. The two parts of Edward Darwin’s Game preserver’s manual dealt with the prevention of poaching and the ‘destruction of vermin’; in the latter part he stated that, of the traps in common use, ‘the steel trap stands, as it always must, pre-eminent’ ([E. L. Darwin] 1859, p. 22).
The different editions of the Game preserver’s manual are the only works by Edward Darwin listed in the NSTC. The reference may be to the first edition of the work, in which the author detailed the particular procedures necessary for trapping foxes ([E. L. Darwin] 1859, pp. 25–6).
Marcus Huish, of Castle Donnington, Leicestershire, was married to Edward Darwin’s sister, Frances Sarah (Darwin pedigree).
The reference is to Samuel Boteler and Albertine Bristowe of Beesthorpe Hall, Nottinghamshire; Samuel Boteler Bristowe was CD’s and Edward Darwin’s second cousin, once removed (Darwin pedigree).
CD and his family had gone to Malvern Wells, Worcestershire, so that CD could undergo a course of treatment at James Smith Ayerst’s hydropathic establishment (see ‘Journal’ (Correspondence vol. 11, Appendix II)).


An appeal: An appeal. [By Charles and Emma Darwin.] [Bromley, Kent]: [privately printed.] [1863.]

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

[Darwin, Edward Levett.] 1859. The game-preserver’s manual, containing full instructions in all that relates to getting up and maintaining a good head of game. By ‘High Elms’. London: the Field office. Derby: W. Bemrose & Sons.

Darwin, Edward Levett. 1863. The game-preserver’s manual, and keeper’s assistant. Containing full directions for getting up and maintaining a good head of game … and a few words on the "Night poaching prevention act" of 1862. 4th edition. Buxton, Derbyshire: the author.

Darwin pedigree: Pedigree of the family of Darwin. Compiled by H. Farnham Burke. N.p.: privately printed. 1888. [Reprinted in facsimile in Darwin pedigrees, by Richard Broke Freeman. London: printed for the author. 1984.]

NSTC: Nineteenth century short title catalogue. Ser. 1, 1801–15. 6 vols. Ser. 2, 1816–70. 56 vols. Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Avero Publications. 1984–95.


Glad to find they are cousins.

Sends his book [High Elms (pseud.), The game-preserver’s manual (1858)].

Letter details

Letter no.
Edward Levett Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 99: 17–18
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4295,” accessed on 4 October 2023,

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