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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Francis Galton   27 May [1872]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

May 27th

My dear Galton

We shall be very happy to keep the 4 Rabbits & breed from them.— I have just spoken to my former groom (now converted into a footman)2 & he says he will do his utmost to keep them in good health.— I have said that you would give him a present, & make it worth his while; & that of course is the sole expense that you will be put to; & I have thought that you would prefer doing this to letting me do so, as I am most perfectly willing to do.—

If you will send an answer by return of Post, I will direct our Carrier,3 who leaves here every Wednesday night to call on next Thursday morning at whatever place you may direct. Next week, we shall probably be at Southampton for 10 days.—4

We have now got 2 litters from some of the young ones which you saw here; & my man says that in one litter there are some odd white marks about their heads; but I am not going again to be deluded about their appearance, until they have got their permanent coats.5

Yours most sincerely | In Haste for Post | C. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Francis Galton, 26 May 1872.
CD may refer to William Jackson, a former groom who became his butler in 1875 (J. Browne 2002, p. 459), or Mark Ansell, a groom at Down House in 1871 (Census returns of England and Wales 1871 (The National Archives: Public Record Office RG11/855/83/1).
CD and Emma Darwin visited their eldest son, William Erasmus Darwin, in Southampton from 8 to 20 June 1872 (CD’s ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)).
See letter to Francis Galton, 23 January [1872] and n. 2. Galton probably visited Down to see the rabbits in November 1871 (see Correspondence vol. 19, letter from Francis Galton, 24 November 1871).


Browne, Janet. 2002. Charles Darwin. The power of place. Volume II of a biography. London: Pimlico.

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.


Agrees to care for FG’s rabbits and will breed from them.

Plans to go to Southampton for ten days.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Francis Galton
Sent from
Source of text
UCL Library Services, Special Collections (GALTON/1/1/9/5/7/10)
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8354,” accessed on 28 February 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 20