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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. E. Darwin   8 November [1866]1


Nov. 8th

My dear William.

Taking the valuation of Claythorpe, at 13,500£ I have resolved to charge you in my Will (which I will at once have altered) 8500£; so that you will in fact receive 5000£ more than my other sons, as being eldest & more especially as Susan has bequeathed this estate to you.2 But I think I mentioned to you that Susan clearly understood and agreed with my intention of deducting the value of the estate. As 4500£ was advanced when you joined the Bank, the total deduction will be 13,000£.3 As far as I can judge, by including what Aunt Catherine has left all you children, & if Uncle Eras bequeaths us any share,4 I expect you will receive on our deaths beyond the 13,000£ about 10,000£ in addition.— When you receive your whole rent you ought to save somewhat.— I request that you will soon consult your Solicitor about your will, for Land requires special notice in a will, & deliberate carefully what you think will be best to do with all property which you may die possessed of.—

I wish to God I could leave you better off, but I have not been extravagant or wasted our property.

My dear old son | Your affect. Father | C. Darwin

This note is miserably expressed & written, but I am tired.—


The year is established by the reference to the Claythorpe farm (see n. 2, below).
Susan Elizabeth Darwin had bequeathed Claythorpe farm to William (see letter from E. A. Darwin, 11 October [1866] and n. 3).
CD’s will was altered as described. For the advance given to William when he became a partner in the Southampton and Hampshire Bank, see Correspondence vol. 9, letter to W. E. Darwin, 22 October [1861] and n. 3.
The references are to Emily Catherine Langton, who had died in February 1866 (see letter from J. D. Hooker, 4 February 1866, n. 1), and Erasmus Alvey Darwin.


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


Tells WED of a change in his will.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Erasmus Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 210.6: 120
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5271,” accessed on 19 May 2022,

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