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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Josiah Wedgwood II and Emma Wedgwood to R. W. Darwin   15 November 1838


15 Novr 1838.

My dear Doctor

A good chearful & affectionate daughter is the greatest blessing a man can have after a good wife.— if I could have given such a wife to Charles without parting with a daughter there would be no drawback from my entire satisfaction in bestowing Emma upon him— You lately gave up a daughter—it is my turn now— At our time of life our happiness must be in a great measure reflected from our families, and I think there are few fathers who have on the whole more cause to be satisfied with the conduct & present circumstances & future prospects of our families.— I could have parted with Emma to no one for whom I could so soon & so entirely feel as a father & I am happy in believing that Charles entertains the kindest feelings for his uncle-father.

I propose to do for Emma what I did for Charlotte & for three of my sons—give a bond for £5000 & to allow her £400 a year as long as my income will supply it which I have no reason for thinking will not be as long as I live.1

Give my love to your fireside and believe me | Affectionately yours | Josiah Wedgwood My dear Uncle

I have begged a bit of Papa’s letter to thank you from my heart for the delightful way in which you have received me into your family & to thank my dear Marianne & Susan for their affectionate notes which gave me the greatest pleasure. One of the things that give me most happiness is Charles’s thorough affection & value for Papa. I am my dear Uncle yours affectionately | Emma W.

You will be glad to hear that Mamma has quite got over her disappointment about Miss Martineau & amuses herself a good deal in planning about houses cake &c.


In the Salop County Record Office (1011/Bx 358) there is filed a 35-page ‘Draft settlement on the marriage of Charles Robert Darwin Esquire and Miss Emma Wedgwood’ between R. W. Darwin and Josiah Wedgwood II. It is dated 31 December 1838. Its major terms designate Erasmus Alvey Darwin and Josiah Wedgwood III executors of £10,000 to be paid by R. W. Darwin and £5,000 to be paid by Josiah Wedgwood II, these sums to be invested and interest paid at 4 per cent per annum. The draft is drawn up on the stationery of Dukes and Salt, Shrewsbury.


JW’s satisfaction in bestowing Emma on CD.

[A note from Emma on cover thanks RWD for the way the family have received her.]

Letter details

Letter no.
Josiah Wedgwood, II
Robert Waring Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
V&A / Wedgwood Collection (MS W/M 198)
Physical description
3pp †(by Emma Wedgwood)

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 438,” accessed on 2 December 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 2