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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Robert Monsey Rolfe   14 January 1867

Holwood, | Bromley. | S.E.

14 Jany 1867

My dear Mr Darwin

Mr & Mrs Charles Kingsley are coming to us tomorrow— Lady Cranworth tells me that you thought of coming over here to see him on Wednesday, but it occurs to her as well as to me that in this severe weather it may be more agreeable to you that we should bring Mr Kingsley over to be introduced to you—1 Pray send me a line by post to say what you wd wish—2 He is obliged to go into town on Thursday to give a lecture at the Royal Institution & they leave us on Saturday—3 so that Wednesday wd probably be the best day—or, if not, then Friday

yours very truly | Cranworth


Charles Kingsley had been an occasional correspondent of CD’s since 1859 (see Correspondence vols. 7, 10, 13, and 14), and they may have met in 1854 at a meeting of the Linnean Society (see Colloms 1975, p. 185). Rolfe also refers to Frances Eliza Kingsley. There is no extant correspondence between CD and Lady Cranworth (Laura Rolfe); however, in a letter dated [15 September 1866], Emma Darwin wrote to Henrietta Emma Darwin that Lady Cranworth had just called and expressed how much Kingsley would like to see CD (DAR 219.5: 45). Rolfe’s residence, Holwood Park, was 112 miles north of Down House.
No further correspondence has been found regarding a possible visit.
Kingsley was to give three lectures at the Royal Institution, on Tuesday 15, Thursday 17, and Saturday 19 January 1867 (Proceedings of the Royal Institution of Great Britain 5 (1866–9): 4).


Colloms, Brenda. 1975. Charles Kingsley: the lion of Eversley. London: Constable. New York: Barnes & Noble.

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.


Will introduce Charles Kingsley to CD.

Letter details

Letter no.
Robert Monsey Rolfe, 1st Baron Cranworth of Cranworth
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Holwood, Bromley
Source of text
DAR 161: 235
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5360,” accessed on 3 December 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 15