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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Edward Cresy   27 January 1868

Metropolitan Board of Works | Spring Gardens

27 Jany 68.

My dear Sir,

Although very busy I cannot refrain from giving myself the pleasure of congratulating you on George’s success.1 I remember how pleased you said you should be to see him get a third or fourth place & therefore can imagine how you rejoiced that he got a second & in a year too when it really was the only place there was a chance for as I heard on every hand Moulton was certain—2

Tell him when he comes down I hope he will be able now to come & see me.3 I suppose after such a grind as he has had he will for a short time rest on his laurels— Did you get any intimation before the time of his being backed for so good a place or was it quite unexpected?

You would be very much gratified if you heard on all hands the feeling of sympathy displayed by people like our Chairman for example & members of our Board, without a tincture of science, that so distinguished a man of science should have so distinguished a son—4 I can quite imagine how heartily his mother & sister rejoice with you on the occasion5   pray congratulate them heartily on our behalf

Yours very truly | E Cresy

C Darwin Esq


George Howard Darwin was second in the final examination for the mathematical tripos at Cambridge (Cambridge University calendar 1868).
John Fletcher Moulton came first in the final examination for the mathematical tripos (Cambridge University calendar 1868).
George had previously sought career advice from Cresy (see Correspondence vol. 13, letter to Edward Cresy, 7 September [1865] and n. 2).
Cresy was architect to the fire brigade in the Metropolitan Board of Works; the chairman of the Board was John Thwaites (Post Office London directory 1868).
Cresy refers to Emma Darwin and probably to Henrietta Emma Darwin; George’s other sister was Elizabeth Darwin.


Cambridge University calendar: The Cambridge University calendar. Cambridge: W. Page [and others]. 1796–1950.

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

Post Office London directory: Post-Office annual directory. … A list of the principal merchants, traders of eminence, &c. in the cities of London and Westminster, the borough of Southwark, and parts adjacent … general and special information relating to the Post Office. Post Office London directory. London: His Majesty’s Postmaster-General [and others]. 1802–1967.


Congratulations on George’s being Second Wrangler at Cambridge.

Letter details

Letter no.
Edward Cresy, Jr
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Metropolitan Board of Works
Source of text
DAR 161: 250
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5806,” accessed on 7 April 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 16