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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. D. Fox    [23 April 1829]


My dear Fox

I have delayed answering your last letter for these few days, as I thought that under such melancholy circumstances my writing to you would be probably only giving you trouble.—

This morning I received a letter from Catherine informing me of that event, which indeed from your letter I had hardly dared to hope would have happened otherwise.—1 I feel most sincerely & deeply for you & all your family: But at the same time, as far as anyone can, by his own good principles & religion be supported under such a misfortune, you, I am assured, well know where to look for such support. And after so pure & holy a comfort as the Bible affords, I am equally assured how useless the sympathy of all friends must appear, although it be as heartfelt & sincere, as I hope you believe me capable of feeling.—

At such a time of deep distress, I will say nothing more, excepting that I trust your father & Mrs. Fox bear this blow as well as under such circumstances can be hoped for.—

I am afraid it will be a long time, my dear Fox, before we meet. till then believe me, at all times | Yours most affectionately | Charles Darwin



Fox’s sister, Mary Ann Bristowe, died 19 April 1829.


CD’s sister Catherine has informed him of the death of WDF’s sister [Mrs Bristowe]. CD sends sympathy to WDF and his parents, and refers to the pure and holy comfort afforded by the Bible.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Darwin Fox
Sent from
Cambridge AP 23 1829
Source of text
Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 14)
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 63,” accessed on 18 May 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 1