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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Alfred Wrigley   11 March [1868]1

4 Chester [Place]

March 11th

My dear Dr W.

If the enclosed letter is the only one which I wrote, I am greatly to blame; but I certainly thought that I had written you a second letter either at the time or shortly before Horace returned to school at Christmas.2 I remember as distinctly as I can remember anything but my recollection may be faulty using the words “after Easter” “with your permissions”, as I remember assuming from your letter that I h⁠⟨⁠ad⁠⟩⁠ your permission.—

(If my memory has been fallacious I am of course indebted to you for a Quarter’s notice) With respect to the cause of Horace’s removal, I am perfectly satisfied with Clapham School & have very often rejoiced that I had sent our sons there.—3 But I have always been largely guided by my sons wishes & Horace for a considerable time has wished for the quieter life of a Private Tutor & thinks that he shd get on quicker; though on this latter head I have always much doubted nevertheless having much confidence in his judgement & knowing his disposition, I have not hesitated to indulge him.— I am extremely sorry that you shd for one moment suppose that the removal of Horace could for one moment be considered by any one as a censure on the Clapham School—

I remain | My dear Sir | Yours very


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Alfred Wrigley, 9 March 1868.
George Howard Darwin, Francis Darwin, and Leonard Darwin had all been pupils at Clapham Grammar School. For more on the education of CD’s sons, see J. R. Moore 1977.


Moore, James Richard. 1977. On the education of Darwin’s sons: the correspondence between Charles Darwin and the Reverend G. V. Reed, 1857–1864. Notes and Records of the Royal Society 32 (1977–8): 51–70.


Regrets and apologises for a misunderstanding regarding Horace’s leaving Clapham School. Is sure he wrote an earlier letter which AW evidently did not receive.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Alfred Wrigley
Sent from
London, Chester Place, 4
Source of text
DAR 96: 42–3
Physical description
ADraft 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6004,” accessed on 15 September 2023,

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