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Darwin Correspondence Project

From E. A. Darwin   11 December [1872]1

11 Dec.

(no hurry)

Dear Charles

Read Mr Salts letter & return it as I want to show it to George.2 Mr Salt has not quite understood us I think. The will as it stands is all right and the contingency we want to guard against is that I should survive you & from any cause I should not be able to make a fresh will. Now in this case I should be intestate as regards real estate & the personalty would be equally divided among the children.3

My wish is to leave it (in case I survive) exactly as you would have left it if it had come into your possession. Think over it at your leizure & let me know, & till then I shall let my present will stand: Lincoln Estate £240 to £250 per ann. Marks cottage say £100 Lease of Queen Anne now £2000 share of residue.4

Mr Salt is coming up to town soon when I shall have a talk with him. I have proposed to him to leave my present will and make a codicil contingent on my survival & in it leaving the property just as you wish but I dont know what he will say to that



The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from E. A. Darwin, 13 December [1872].
The letter from George Moultrie Salt, of the law firm Salt & Sons in Shrewsbury, has not been found. George Howard Darwin had studied law in London and was called to the bar in 1872.
The two classes of property, realty or real estate (immovable assets) and personalty (goods, money, and other moveables), were subject to different inheritance laws.
Presumably Erasmus, like CD, owned property in Lincolnshire (see Correspondence vol. 5, letter to John Higgins, 7 June 1851 and n. 1); Mark’s Cottage was a cottage near The Mount in Shrewsbury in which the Darwin family coachman, Mark Briggs, lived rent-free (see Correspondence vol. 15, letter from E. A. Darwin, 3 March 1867 and n. 1); Queen Anne Street was the address of Erasmus’s London home.


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


Thinks Mr Salt has not understood about their wills and wants to clarify the matter when he has heard from CD.

Letter details

Letter no.
Erasmus Alvey Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 105: B84–5
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8671,” accessed on 16 September 2023,

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