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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Emma Darwin to W. D. Fox   [29 September 1863]

Malvern Wells


Dear Mr Fox

I am writing instead of Charles to thank you for your precise answer to his enquiry.1 I am glad to say that by the help of your directions & the lady at whose house our poor Annie lodged we have found the tomb stone.2 It is very much covered with trees & looks so green & old I am sure I looked at it many times thinking it quite out of the question that should be it. Also the iron palisades are gone, at least both the sexton3 & lady thought there had been rails round it, but that does not signify. This has been a great relief.

Charles has been quite ill last week but for the last 5 days he has decidedly improved, but I expect his recovery will be very slow.4

We like Dr Ayerst tho’ he has not the influence of Dr Gully. Dr G. it is hopeless to try to see tho’ I must say he has been to see Ch. twice & he quite approves of his treatment.5 He takes 2 or 3 wet rubbings in the day & small walks in the garden, but he is weak— Our stay here has however been of real use to our sick boy & put us on a better system with him.6 Ch. appetite is so good I think he must get strength soon & he has struggled on for 5 days without sickness.

I sent you a paper concocted between Ch. & myself wisely directed to Delamere Droitwich & so I will put in another in hopes you may employ it in some way.7 I have met with a good deal of encouragement & I see it today in the Worcester paper endorsed by the Member of Parliament8

Will you remember us both very kindly to Mrs Fox9 & | believe me | yours very sincerely | E. Darwin


Emma had been unable to locate in the Priory churchyard, Great Malvern, the grave of her daughter Anne Elizabeth (Annie), who died in 1851 (see letter to W. D. Fox, 4 [September 1863]). At CD’s request, Fox, who visited the grave in 1856 and 1859, had sent specific directions for finding it (see letter to W. D. Fox, 4 [September 1863], and letter from W. D. Fox, 7 September [1863]). The reference is to Eliza Partington, the lodging-house keeper who ran Montreal House, where Annie had apparently lodged (Correspondence vol. 5, letter to E. A. Darwin, 19 April 1851; Post Office directory of Birmingham 1850 and 1864).
This individual has not been identified.
In her diary (DAR 242), Emma Darwin recorded that CD was sick every day from 20 to 23 September, but that he was better over the succeeding five days, while suffering intermittently from flatulence and ‘head swimming’.
James Manby Gully, under whose care both CD and Fox had been treated at Great Malvern on previous occasions, had been seriously ill (see Browne 1990 and letter from W. D. Fox, [16–22 May 1863]). As a result, CD was receiving treatment in Malvern Wells at the hydropathic establishment run by James Smith Ayerst, an associate of Gully’s (see letter to W. D. Fox, 4 [September 1863] and n. 1).
According to Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242), Horace Darwin, who had been ill intermittently during 1863, began hydropathic treatment on 15 September 1863.
See letter from Emma Darwin to W. D. Fox, [6–27 September 1863]. The enclosure referred to is reproduced in Appendix IX. According to CD’s Address book (Down House MS), Fox’s address was ‘Delamere R[ectory]. Northwich’; see also Post Office directory of Cheshire 1864.
The newspaper has not been identified. In 1863, the members of parliament for Worcester were Richard Padmore and Osman Ricardo (Dod’s parliamentary companion 1862, p. 136).


Browne, Janet. 1990. Spas and sensibilities: Darwin at Malvern. In The medical history of waters and spas, edited by Roy S. Porter. Medical History, supp. 10. London: Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine.

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

Dod’s parliamentary companion: The parliamentary pocket companion … compiled from official documents, and from the personal communications of members of both houses. Dod’s parliamentary companion. London: Whittaker, Treacher, & Arnot; Whittaker & Co. 1833–1914.

Post Office directory of Birmingham: Post Office directory of Birmingham, Warwickshire, and part of Staffordshire. Kelly’s directory of Birmingham, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, and Worcestershire. London: W. Kelly; Kelly & Co. 1845–1928.

Post Office directory of Cheshire: Post Office directory of Cheshire. Kelly’s directory of Cheshire. London: Kelly & Co. 1857–1902.


Thanks to WDF’s directions, Anne’s tombstone has been found.

CD improved, but recovery is slow. She describes treatment.

Encloses paper she and CD have written [see 4294, which was wrongly addressed by ED and had not reached WDF].

Letter details

Letter no.
Emma Wedgwood/Emma Darwin
William Darwin Fox
Sent from
Malvern Wells
SP 29 63
Source of text
Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (Fox 141)
Physical description
ALS 6pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4312,” accessed on 25 May 2024,

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