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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Mary Lubbock to H. E. Darwin   [8 May 1866 – 31 August 1871]1

Goringes, | Farnborough, | Kent.

Dear Miss Darwin

We hope to have a few friends here to play croquet on Thursday between 4 & 7 oclock & shall be very glad if you & your sister2 will join us, if it should be fine.

Apropos of the conversation we had with Mr. Darwin the day I was at yr. house—I have heard since that Babies vary very much as to the age when tears begin to show in their eyes—as my sister in law told me, one of hers, a very forward child at a few days old had tears in her eyes from her efforts to talk & coo!3

With kind regards to Mr & Mrs Darwin

I am yours very sincerely | Mary Lubbock.



The date range is established by the date of Mary’s marriage to Henry James Lubbock (Tuesday 8 May 1866: Burke’s peerage), and the date of Henrietta Emma Darwin’s marriage (Thursday 31 August 1871: Freeman1978). However, the Lubbocks probably left Goringes, except for winter visits, at the end of 1869 (see Correspondence vol. 17, letter to J. B. Innes, 18 October 1869).
Elizabeth Darwin.
Mary probably refers to Ellen Frances Lubbock; she and John Lubbock had six children by 1866, three of them girls (Howard and Crisp eds. 1893–1921, 12: 65–7). CD discussed the age at which babies first cried tears in Expression, pp. 153–4.


Age at which babies first shed tears.

Letter details

Letter no.
Frances Mary (Mary) Lubbock
Henrietta Emma Darwin/Henrietta Emma Litchfield
Sent from
Goringes, Farnborough, Kent
Source of text
DAR 170: 19
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5332,” accessed on 14 July 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 20