skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

From Erasmus Alvey Darwin   17 February [1866]1

Feb 17.

Dear Charles

A thought has just come into my head which might save Susan2 from a little worry, tho’ I dont the least know that there is any necessity for it.

Susan will have to pay to Catherine’s Estate half the value of the Shrewsbury furniture,3 & if she has not got the money which is probable enough, my idea was that she should give a note of hand & the interest might run on till her death so that she would have no farther trouble.4 I of course would advance the money with pleasure, only perhaps it would be simpler if you accepted Susan’s note as part of the proceeds of Catherine’s Estate. Let me know what you think of the plan before I make any suggestion to Susan.

yours affec. | E D


The year is established by the references to the estate of Emily Catherine Langton (Catherine), who died in February 1866 (see letter from J. D. Hooker, 4 February 1866 and n. 1).
Susan Elizabeth Darwin, CD and Erasmus’s sister.
In his will of 27 September 1845 (Department of Manuscripts and Records, National Library of Wales), Robert Waring Darwin requested that his executors, Erasmus Alvey Darwin and CD, give his unmarried daughters the option of purchasing the furniture at the Mount, the family home in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, if they chose to continue living there. Susan and Catherine, who were unmarried when Robert died in 1848, presumably purchased the furniture. They lived together at the Mount until Catherine married Charles Langton in 1863 (see Correspondence vol. 11).
Susan Elizabeth Darwin died 3 October 1866 (Darwin pedigree).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 28 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Darwin pedigree: Pedigree of the family of Darwin. Compiled by H. Farnham Burke. N.p.: privately printed. 1888. [Reprinted in facsimile in Darwin pedigrees, by Richard Broke Freeman. London: printed for the author. 1984.]


Suggests two ways of financing what Susan will owe Catherine’s estate.

Letter details

Letter no.
Erasmus Alvey Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 105: B53–4
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5009,” accessed on 27 May 2022,

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