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Darwin Correspondence Project

From E. A. Darwin   4 October [1866]1

Oct 4

Dear Charles

Some little time ago Susan said that she wished George to have the Indian Chessmen.2 I suggested to her that it would probably be an inconvenient gift & that they were scarcely ornamental now in which she agreed but said you can ask Charles whether he likes to have them.

Before I leave Shrewsbury I had better settle something about the house. I have no power to act without the consent of all parties.3

Caroline4 is looking very much worn and it is a great mercy that she did not break down alltogether just at last. It has been a most painful time

with love to Emma | Yours affec. | Eras Darwin


The year is established by the reference to arrangements following Susan Elizabeth Darwin’s death (see n. 2, below).
Susan had died on 3 October 1866 (see letter to J. D. Hooker, [4 October 1866] and n. 1). The reference is to CD’s son George Howard Darwin.
Susan had resided at the Darwin family home, The Mount, in Shrewsbury. Robert Waring Darwin had bequeathed the house to his children with CD and Erasmus each receiving a quarter share while his four daughters (Marianne, Caroline, Susan, and Emily Catherine) each received an eighth share. The will further stipulated that his unmarried daughters could live in the house and collect rents from properties attached to it as long as they remained unmarried (will of Robert Waring Darwin, Department of Manuscripts and Records, National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth). The surviving children, Erasmus, CD, and Caroline Sarah Wedgwood, agreed to sell the house after Susan’s death. It was advertised for sale at auction on 30 November 1866 (Shrewsbury Chronicle, 16 November 1866), but was not sold. The house was then let and eventually sold the next year (see Correspondence vol. 15, letter from Salt & Sons, 17 July 1867).
Caroline Sarah Wedgwood, CD’s eldest sister.


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


Would CD like to have Susan’s Indian chessmen?

EAD should settle something about the house but has no power without consent of all parties.

Caroline looks worn – it has been a most painful time.

Letter details

Letter no.
Erasmus Alvey Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 105: B44–5
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5230,” accessed on 19 May 2022,

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