skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

From E. F. Lubbock   [1 October 1866]1

Dear Mr. Darwin

Mr. Herbert Spencer, who is staying here, has a very great desire to see you, and I write to ask if you would allow him to call upon you, or if you would, in the course of one of your rides,2 stop here for a short time—

We should be only too glad if we could persuade you either to lunch or dine with us—but please will you tell us what you feel equal to, or if you would rather not see Mr. Spencer at all.

With our kindest regards to you all, believe me yours most truly | Ellen Lubbock

John goes to Yorkshire either tomorrow or Wednesday, to open some barrows.3


The date is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to J. D. Hooker, 2 October [1866], and by the reference to ‘tomorrow or Wednesday’; in 1866, 1 October was a Monday.
CD had started riding daily from 4 June 1866 (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)). He usually went out from 12 noon to 1 P.M. (see letter to John Lubbock, 2 August [1866]).
John Lubbock had visited several sites of archaeological interest in Britain and Europe as part of his research into early humans. He had published a book on the subject a year earlier (Lubbock 1865).


Herbert Spencer is staying with the Lubbocks and would much like to see CD.

Letter details

Letter no.
Ellen Frances Hordern/Ellen Frances Lubbock
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 170: 8
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4728,” accessed on 14 May 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 14