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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Frederick Ransome   6 March 1865

Rushmere Lodge, | Norwood Lane, S.

March 6th. 1865

My dear Sir—

I note that the time has expired when the note of hand for £100 was to have been redeemed1—and after the very great kindness and consideration you have shewn, I do not like again to trespass upon your patience—but owing to the late pressure in the money market our director felt it would not be desireable to make a call upon our Share holders2—and in Consequence they have not paid me the Balance due upon the purchase of Patent Rights &c amounting to several thousand pounds.—3 I am however happy to inform you that matters are progressing most satisfactorily and a further call will shortly be made a portion of which will be paid to me on a/c and I shall then have much pleasure in redeeming the note of hand in your possession.4

If however you consider that I have already absorbed all your patience in this matter—I will at once make arrangements to provide the means, but if you will Consent to allow the matter to stand over for a few months it will be a great Convenience to me—more especially as I have recently removed my residence to the above address and have had additional calls upon my finances—

I must however request that you will allow me to pay Interest at the rate of 5% upon the loan—as I am to receive Interest from the Company at this rate—and it is only reasonable that I should repay it upon the portion of my borrowed Capital—

Awaiting the favour of your early reply5 | I remain My dear Sir | Very faithfully yours | Fredk Ransome

Chas. Darwin Esq

Down nr Bromley


CD held Ransome’s bond for £100, which was due to be repaid on 4 March 1865. See Correspondence vol. 12, letters from Frederick Ransome, 4 March 1864 and 7 March 1864. The loan was made in connection with the Patent Siliceous Stone Company, of which Ransome was a founder (see nn. 2 and 3, below).
Presumably the reference is to the shareholders of the newly formed Patent Concrete Stone Company (see n. 4, below); the director of the company has not been identified. CD had purchased shares in the original company, the Patent Siliceous Stone Company, in 1852, and provided several loans (CD’s Investment book (Down House MS), pp. 59–60). See also Correspondence vol. 11, CD memorandum, 14 February 1863 and nn. 1 and 2, letter to D. T. Ansted, 15 April 1863, and letter from D. T. Ansted, 17 April 1863, and this volume, Supplement, CD Memorandum, July 1857 and n. 1.
In 1848, Ransome invented the artificial sandstone that the Patent Siliceous Stone Company was founded to manufacture (Modern English biography; Minutes of Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers 115 (1894): 402–4). He was also patentee and general manager of the Patent Concrete Stone Company (Post Office London directory 1866).
Ransome was attempting to launch the Patent Concrete Stone Company at new premises (see letter from Frederick Ransome, 9 March 1865 and n. 3, and Correspondence vol. 14, letter to Frederick Ransome, [before February 6 1866], and letter from Frederick Ransome, 6 February 1866). The company did not go into full-scale production until 1867 (Engineering, 28 June 1867, pp. 671–2).
CD’s reply has not been found; however, an entry in CD’s Investment book (Down House MS), p. 60, dated 2 March 1866, records the receipt of £5 from Ransome, representing one year’s interest on the loan. See also letter from Frederick Ransome, 9 March 1865.


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

Modern English biography: Modern English biography, containing many thousand concise memoirs of persons who have died since the year 1850. By Frederick Boase. 3 vols. and supplement (3 vols.). Truro, Cornwall: the author. 1892–1921.

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.


Requests a postponement of payment on a note for £100.

Letter details

Letter no.
Frederick Ransome
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Norwood Lane
Source of text
DAR 99: 19–20
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4780,” accessed on 6 October 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 13