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Darwin Correspondence Project

From B. J. Sulivan   31 May [1865]1

Board of Trade. S.W.

May 31st.

My dear Darwin

I am very sorry to hear such a poor account of your health—& I am half afraid of causing you any excitement by coming to see you.2 do not hesitate to say if you would prefer my postponing it.3 We leave so soon that I can only run down in the middle of the day for an hour or two. My wife4 and I go tomorrow evening for a farewell visit of a night to a sister near Lewisham,5 and I purpose if it is convenient to you going to Bromley by train that reaches there at 12 21.—and returning by the 3.54.—on Friday— would you send me a line to Mrs. Sweetlands 10 Granville Park, Blackheath SE—?6 and I shall get it there on Friday morning. If you are not well enough do not hesitate to say so.

with our kind regards to Mrs. Darwin   Believe me | very sincerely yours | B. J. Sulivan

My last note from Board of Trade as I finish this day.


The year is established by the references to Sulivan’s retirement and move to Bournemouth (see n. 5, below).
Sulivan had suggested coming to Down for a night in his letter of 8 May [1865]. For part of CD’s reply, see Correspondence vol. 30, Supplement, letter to B. J. Sulivan, [9 May 1865].
There is no evidence that Sulivan visited CD during 1865.
Sulivan retired from his post as the chief naval officer in the Marine Department at the Board of Trade and moved to Bournemouth, Hampshire (see letter from B. J. Sulivan, 8 May [1865] and n. 3).
Mrs Sweetland of 10 Granville Park, Blackheath (Post Office directory of the six home counties 1865), has not been further identified.


Post Office directory of the six home counties: Post Office directory of the six home counties, viz., Essex, Herts, Kent, Middlesex, Surrey and Sussex. London: W. Kelly & Co. 1845–78.


Would like to call on CD for an hour or so before leaving London to settle in Bournemouth.

Letter details

Letter no.
Bartholomew James Sulivan
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Board of Trade
Source of text
DAR 177: 285
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4844,” accessed on 16 July 2024,

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