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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. S. Henslow   7 February 1839


7 Feb. 1839

My dear Brother Benedict,1

Whewell assures me that you are certainly twin, though I have seen no account of the important event in the Gazette or elsewhere— I must therefore take it for granted that the Queens Speech or something else has so much occupied the thoughts of all the Printers that they have forgotten you— I need not tell you how heartily I wish you all health & happiness in your new estate—nor I trust assure you that I know no one beyond the circle of my own family in whom I feel a more hearty interest. Should it please God that we & our better halves are to see many days, I hope our friendship will go on increasing & our intercourse be more & more frequent— Mrs H. hopes with myself that you will accept a trifling wedding present for Mrs C. Darwin’s table. It is only a little silver candlestick for a wax taper; but the use of it will occasionally remind you of us, if we should never meet again— I don’t know how to send it to you, but as I shall be in town in 2 or 3 weeks I can at all events bring it up with me—

With our united heartfelt good wishes to you & Mrs D, believe me ever | My dear Fellow | Yr. affectionate friend | J S Henslow


‘A newly married man; esp. an apparently confirmed bachelor who marries. [From the character of that name in Shaks. Much Ado about Nothing.]’ OED.


OED: The Oxford English dictionary. Being a corrected re-issue with an introduction, supplement and bibliography of a new English dictionary. Edited by James A. H. Murray, et al. 12 vols. and supplement. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1970. A supplement to the Oxford English dictionary. 4 vols. Edited by R. W. Burchfield. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1972–86. The Oxford English dictionary. 2d edition. 20 vols. Prepared by J. A. Simpson and E. S. C. Weiner. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1989. Oxford English dictionary additional series. 3 vols. Edited by John Simpson et al. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1993–7.


Writes to CD as "Brother Benedick" and sends hearty good wishes for health and happiness in marriage. They are sending a little silver candlestick for a wax taper.

Letter details

Letter no.
John Stevens Henslow
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 204: 167
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 495,” accessed on 6 February 2023,

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