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Darwin Correspondence Project

From W. E. Darwin   10 November [1866]1


Nov 10th

My Dear Father,

Thank you for your letter, it is just as well to know what one has to look forward to. All I can say is that I do’nt believe there is one father in five hundred thousand, who starting with what you did, would leave his sons as well off as you will us boys. If the profits of the Bank at all keep up to £500 a year I shall be able to save considerably, so that beside the £5000 I may consider I get great advantage out of Claythorpe Farm.2

I have already made my will, I did so on becoming Aunt Catherine’s executor; & I had a clause to include landed property put in; but I will see that it is all right3   I have left everything straight back to you as the simplest plan. I am going to Claythorpe on the 27th or 28th. & shall sleep at Uncle Ras’s where I hope you may all be.4

My love to Mama & Hen.5 | Your affect son | W. E. Darwin

Uncle Ras will send you a transfer for signature; as Uncle Langton expressed a wish to have his £1000 for Edmund in this stock, I thought none of the legatees would object in his case.6

Mr Salt wants to know whether you would like a Mortgage of £15,000 at 4 per Cent, on Mr Childe’s estate, as H. Parker has called up Dr Darwin’s mortgage of that amount7   I should have thought you ought to get 414 now a days


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to W. E. Darwin, 8 November [1866] (Correspondence vol. 14).
William had inherited Claythorpe Farm in Lincolnshire from his aunt Susan Elizabeth Darwin, who died in October 1866; in his letter of 8 November [1866] (Correspondence vol. 14), CD had told William how much he intended to deduct from his own bequests to William on this account, and how much William could expect to inherit from the older generation overall. William was a partner in the Southampton and Hampshire Bank.
In his letter of 8 November [1866] (Correspondence vol. 14), CD had advised William to make a will. William was an executor for his aunt, CD’s sister Emily Catherine Langton, who had died in February 1866.
The Darwins stayed with Erasmus Alvey Darwin, CD’s brother, from 22 to 29 November 1866 (Correspondence vol. 14, Appendix II).
Emily Catherine Langton had left her stepson Edmund Langton £1000 in her will. Edmund was Charles Langton’s son by his marriage to Emma Darwin’s sister Charlotte.
William Lacon Childe of Kinlet Hall in Shropshire had borrowed £60,000 from CD’s father, Robert Waring Darwin (Shropshire Archives, SA D3651/B/47/1/1/1/1/6). Henry Parker was the son of CD’s sister Marianne. Thomas Salt was CD’s solicitor in Shrewsbury.


Has made will. Discusses financial arrangements and asks whether CD would like a mortgage.

Letter details

Letter no.
William Erasmus Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
Cornford Family Papers (DAR 275: 24)
Physical description
ALS 6pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5273F,” accessed on 15 September 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 24 (Supplement)