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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Robert FitzRoy   31 March [1843]

Down, near Farnborough. | Kent.

Dear FitzRoy.

I read yesterday with surprise and the greatest interest, your appointment as Governor of New Zealand.—1 I do not know whether to congratulate you on it, but I am sure, I may the Colony, on possessing your zeal and energy.— I am most anxious to know whether the Report is true; for I cannot bear the thoughts of your leaving the country without seeing you once again the past is often in my memory, and I feel that I owe to you much bye gone enjoyment, and the whole destiny of my life, which (had my health been stronger) would have been one full of satisfaction to me.—

During the last 3 months I have never once gone up to London; without intending to call in the hopes of seeing Mrs. FitzRoy & yourself, but I find most unfortunately for myself, that the little excitement of breaking out of my most quiet routine so generally knocks me up, that I am able to do scarcely anything when in London, & I have not even been able to attend one evening meeting of the Geological Society— Otherwise, I am very well—as are thank God my wife and two children— The extreme retirement of this place, suits us all very well, and we enjoy our country life much—

But I am writing trifles about myself, when your mind & time must be fully occupied.— My object in writing is to beg of you or Mrs. FitzRoy to have the kindness to send me one line to say, whether it is true, and whether you sail soon. I shall come up next week for one or two days: could you see me for even five minutes, if I called early on Thursday morning, viz at 9. or 10 oclock, or at whatever hour (if you keep early ship hours,) you finish your breakfast. Pray remember me very kindly to Mrs. FitzRoy—who I trust is able to look at her long voyage with boldness.

Believe me, dear FitzRoy, | Your ever truly obliged, | Charles Darwin. March 31st.


FitzRoy, who had been serving as M.P. for Durham, accepted the appointment and sailed with his wife for New Zealand on 8 July 1843. For an account of his tenure and the events leading to his recall in 1845, see Mellersh 1968, pp. 207–35.


Mellersh, Harold Edward Leslie. 1968. FitzRoy of the Beagle. London: Rupert Hart-Davis.


Congratulates FitzRoy on his appointment as Governor of New Zealand. Wants to see him and his wife before their departure. Proposes to call on them in London next Thursday.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Robert FitzRoy
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 144: 118
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 667,” accessed on 7 December 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 2