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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Harriet Lubbock   [April? 1866]1

My dear Mr Darwin

So many Thanks for yr kind Note.2 I am only just returned from Leicestersh or woud have written sooner. John & Ellen are away from home3 but I am sure will quite agree with you so I send you 3£ 1 for each of us.4 I hope dear Mrs Darwin is pretty well   I heard she had been ill wh I was very sorry for.5 pray give her my very kind love—

I assure you all Lubbocks feel proud to get a Note from you & prize them so I can only thank you heartily for yours & hope you will believe me | Your much obliged | Harriet Lubbock


The year is established by the reference to the £3 donation (see n. 4, below). The month is conjectured from the reference to Emma Darwin’s illness (see n. 5, below), and from the date of the Lubbocks’ return from Europe (see n. 3, below).
CD’s note has not been found.
John and Ellen Frances Lubbock were in Europe in the spring of 1866 (Hutchinson 1914, 1: 85–6). The letter from J. D. Hooker, [after 28 April 1866], suggests that John Lubbock had returned by the end of April. Harriet Lubbock was John Lubbock’s mother.
CD was treasurer of the Down Coal and Clothing Club, a local charity that supplied parishioners with coal and clothes in exchange for regular savings. The only year in which contributions of £1 each from John Lubbock, Ellen Lubbock, and Harriet Lubbock are recorded in the Coal and Clothing Club account book (Down House MS) is 1866. On CD’s charitable work, see J. R. Moore 1985, p. 466, and Browne 2002, pp. 452–4.
Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242) records that she fell ill with influenza on 9 April 1866. CD’s letter to Asa Gray, 16 April [1866], reports that she was still unwell; however, she had evidently recovered by 17 April as she recorded in her diary that she ‘drove out’ on that day.


Browne, Janet. 2002. Charles Darwin. The power of place. Volume II of a biography. London: Pimlico.

Hutchinson, Horace Gordon. 1914. Life of Sir John Lubbock, Lord Avebury. 2 vols. London: Macmillan.

Moore, James Richard. 1985. Darwin of Down: the evolutionist as squarson-naturalist. In The Darwinian heritage, edited by David Kohn. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press in association with Nova Pacifica (Wellington, NZ).


Local matters.

Letter details

Letter no.
Harriet Lubbock
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 170: 18
Physical description
2pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4960,” accessed on 25 September 2020,

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