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Darwin Correspondence Project

From W. E. Darwin   [1869–75]1

Ashton Lodge, | Bassett, Southampton.


My dear Father

Please ask Mother to decipher the enclosed from Capt Forrest chief Constable of Hants.2 I know Knight3 a little he seems above the average in brains, & I would sooner take Capt Forrest’s opinion as to his fitness than any man I know.

I suppose you could hardly send it to Sir John as he is called a “Beak”4 but if he calls perhaps you could mention his name, as I should like to oblige Forrest. I have told him you will have nothing to do with the election, or Sir J. either probably.

I am afraid you know no one well enough at Maidstone5 to enclose the note to without comment. If as good as any other Knight deserves a lift as he has been shamefully cut out by his Father for a marriage (to a very pleasant person)

I did not see Hacon,6 but told the case to his head man, & expect a letter.

Your affect son | W E. Darwin


The date range is based on the address. William lived at Ashton Lodge from around 1869 until 1875.
The enclosure from John Henry Forrest, chief constable of Hampshire, has not been found.
Knight has not been identified.
John Lubbock was justice of the peace for Kent (Burke’s peerage). ‘Beak’ is slang for magistrate or justice of the peace (OED).
Lubbock was Liberal MP for Maidstone, Kent, from 1870 to 1880 (ODNB).
William Mackmurdo Hacon was CD’s solicitor.


Sends a letter from Capt Forrest, recommending a Mr Knight.

Letter details

Letter no.
William Erasmus Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
Cornford Family Papers (DAR 275: 54)
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9224F,” accessed on 6 July 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 24 (Supplement)