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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Susan Darwin   [8 December 1843]


My dear Susan

Your questions about the fruit shall be punctually attended to. Thank my Father about the money, if he can let me have the 200£ sometime before January,1 it will do perfectly for me, & next half year, early in it, I shall be able to see, whether I must sell one or two or 3, 100£ out of Funds.— I thought Catherine had explained about Mr Price’s2 land.— The whole case is simply, that Mr Drummond bought half an acre of land close to the house from Mr Price & another slip from Sales deceased,3 & never had these pieces of land conveyed to him, but merely took a receipt on paper for the money paid, as if he had been buying a cow.— Mr. Price is quite willing now to convey this land to me or to Mr Drummond, & his life is important, in as much as, it wd be far less easy to get his executors to convey it, & without such conveyance I shd not have in common law any claim for the land, through which the approach now runs— Mr Drummonds own lawyers, it appears, have never seen the receipt for the money for the purchase of the two plots of land, so were (or pretended to be) in entire ignorance of the whole transaction.—

Your affect. | C. Darwin


R. W. Darwin’s ‘Red Book’ (investment account book), in the section devoted to CD’s accounts, has the following entry: ‘1843 Dec 8 Half a years interest due 1 Jany 1844 advanced this day £200’ (Down House MS). There is a corresponding entry in CD’s Account Book (Down House MS), which is dated 10 December and reads: ‘From my Father (Susan’s Part 15) 215’. The date for this letter has been derived from the evidence provided by these entries.
Timothy Sales. Since Sales had died in 1841, CD was evidently obliged to repurchase this strip of land. His Account Book (Down House MS) contains an entry for 14 February 1844 concerning a land purchase from W[illiam] Sales for £91.


Thanks father for loan. Explains difficulty of acquiring the land through which the approach to Down House now runs.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Susan Elizabeth Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 92: A14–15
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 674,” accessed on 24 September 2023,

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