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Darwin Correspondence Project

From John Higgins   2 October 1845


2nd October 1845

My Dear Sir,

I enclose an Estimate of the different additional works, which I recommend to be done at Beesby, in order to put the Farm into permanent good condition; so as to command at all times a Tenant of respectability, and to require no further Outlay for many years to come, and I propose the additional Money expended, shall yield Interest at 314 Pr. cent the same as the purchase Money thus— diag £ Purchase Money — — 12’400 — — Buildings &c——— 920. 10. 0 Law Charges (Estimated) 150 — —


Total Outlay 13’470. 10. 0


This Outlay taken at 314 Pr. Cent will produce a Rental of £437.10.0 and I have no doubt but any good Tenant will be able to pay it for a term of years; and improve the Estate very considerably.1

You seemed much interested in the use of liquid Manure (a practise yet in its infancy); and fancying my son who is learning the practical parts of Agriculture, with a Gentn of some eminence in this County; might be able to throw some light on the subject; I asked him to do so; and I enclose a copy of his Letter.—2 I have also fully estimated the size most suitable and the Cost of a Tank, amongst my Extra Charges.—

I hope to get the Purchase Deeds complited by the 10th. Inst. being Old Mich’s day,3 which regulates all our proceedings in this County; and I will deposit the Deeds in my Iron Chest until I go to London and can deliver them up to you.—

I shall be glad to hear you accomplished your journey without feeling any ill effects; and with my best Respects to Dr. Darwin

I remain Dear Sir | Your faithful Servant | John Higgins C. R. Darwin Esq

CD annotations

crossed pencil
On cover: ‘Papers, Plan, Letters about Beesby Estate Oct.— 1845.—’ ink


Enclosed with this letter is an itemised list of the proposed improvements. CD’s Investment Book (Down House MS) records that a total of £1026 0s. 5d. was advanced to Higgins during 1846 for farm buildings at Beesby. See also letter to John Higgins, 27 May [1846].
This letter has not been found. The use of liquid manure (urine) had been strongly recommended by the Duke of Richmond, president of the Royal Agricultural Society, and others at the Royal Agricultural Society’s annual meeting, held at Shrewsbury, 15–18 July 1845 (Gardeners’ Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette, no. 30, 26 July 1845, p. 522).
Old Michaelmas day, one of the quarter-days of the English business year. Papers enclosed with this letter indicate that the purchase was completed on 10 October 1845.


Sends a list of the work he feels should be done at Beesby [Lincolnshire] to put the farm in order. Hopes to get purchase deeds completed by 10 October.

Letter details

Letter no.
John Higgins
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 210.10: 8
Physical description
3pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 918,” accessed on 21 January 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 3