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Darwin Correspondence Project

From M. A. Ruck to Francis Darwin   [29 April – 27 May 1869]1

13. Kensington Park Road


Dear Mr Darwin,

Caerdeon is most lovely. It is on the Barmouth Estuary with Cadir in front and delightful heathery hills behind.2 You could not do better. I spoke to Clement on Sunday last and he was so vague about his plans that I dare not feel sure you could have it and the other place is a thousand times more beautiful—3

I am sorry it is not nearer to us but we can easily meet for expeditions in all directions—4

Tell your Father that at present the Sheep question stands thus— Horns are always like felt at birth, but do not develope themselves much for a fortnight or more and that earlier in the Males.5 I have several people on the look out and will send more certain information when the season is more advanced. I hope Horace is well give him my love please and say that we have his things here and will give them to Dickie6 Tell Mrs. Darwin that I shall be very glad to welcome her in Wales

Believe me | Yours very sincerely | M L Ruck

CD annotations

2.1 I am … thus— 3.1] crossed pencil
3.1 question stands] underlined pencil
3.2 fortnight … out and 3.3] double scored blue crayon
3.3 earlier in the Males.] underlined red crayon
3.4 I hope … Wales 3.6] crossed pencil
Top of letter: ‘Mrs Ruck’ red crayon
End of 2d page: ‘give new [quote] | Mammalsblue crayon; ‘New’ pencil


The date range is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Edward Jones to M. A. Ruck, 28 April 1869, and by a note dated ‘May 29/69/’ written on the verso of the second page of the letter. In 1869, the first Thursday after 28 April was 29 April, and the last Thursday before 29 May was 27 May.
Ruck refers to Plas Caerdeon, the house where the Darwins stayed from 12 June to 30 July 1869 (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242); see also Emma Darwin (1904), 2: 228). She also refers to the mountain Cader Idris.
Clement has not been identified.
The Ruck home in Wales was Plas Pantlludw near Machynlleth.


Emma Darwin (1904): Emma Darwin, wife of Charles Darwin. A century of family letters. Edited by Henrietta Litchfield. 2 vols. Cambridge: privately printed by Cambridge University Press. 1904.


Sends message to CD about development of horns in sheep.

Letter details

Letter no.
Mary Anne Matthews/Mary Anne Ruck
Francis Darwin
Sent from
London, Kensington Park Rd, 13
Source of text
DAR 83: 190, DAR 84.2: 211
Physical description
ALS 3pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6760,” accessed on 18 September 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 17