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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Frederick Allen’s agent   [October 1873]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.


I have just been informed by Mrs Allen that Mr Allen wants to let his house for 7 years—2

It is highly probable that the place wd suit my son3 If I take it I shd probably agree to buy the lease which I understand is what Mr Allen prefers— But as I only today heard that it is to be let it is impossible for me to decide under a week or 10 days— Under these circes can you in any way aid me by giving me the refusal of it.

Sir your obd—

P.S at what period must the incomer take the House


The month and year are established by the relationship between this draft and a letter from Emma Darwin to Horace Darwin, [3 October 1873] (dated by a postmark; DAR 258: 583). In this letter, Emma wrote: Things have turned out wonderfully handy for Frank, as Down Lodge is to be let! I had heard rumours that some time ago Mr Allen had wished to go, so I called there in order not to neglect any chance, & found that it had been advertised for a month & not a soul in the village had heard of it—& how vexed we shd have been if it had been let! It is quite a snug liveable place & the trees & shrubs round it look old— The laurels have grown so tall as to shut out all but the roofs of the opposite cottages. How I shall enjoy cutting down those 12 dead spruce firs, & how I wish Mr Allen had not taken such pains to spoil his hedge row trees. the rent is £160 with 23 acres which wd let for 30/ a yr and 2 cottages at £12 (for both) so it wd be more than £40 off it.
Frederick and Frances Allen lived at Down Lodge, Down, Kent.
Francis Darwin.


Has heard that Mr Allen wishes to let his house and thinks it probable that it would suit his son [Francis]. Asks whether he may have refusal of it.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Agent for Mr Allen
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 96: 157–8
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9079,” accessed on 5 August 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 21