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Darwin Correspondence Project

To T. W. Denby   1 March 1874

March 1st/ 74

T. W. Denby Esq | 8 or 3 Frederic Place | Old Jewry London


I shd be much obliged if you wd read the enclosed copy of a letter from me to Sir J. Lubbock.1 He in his answer, says he believes, or is almost certain that the land in question “is among mrg settlem2   As you will see by the enclosed he refers me to you.3 If that portion of the field cannot be sold, could it not be exchanged for an equal area of my own land? I have heard in such settlements, that this is permissible; but as Sir John does not in his answer allude to my proposal to exchange, he may possibly have some objection to this plan. After you have ascertained whether the land is settled, will you be so good as to inform Sir John, & find out for me whether he wd be willing to sell, or exchange it, as either plan would be a great advantage to me.—


CD enclosed a copy of his letter to John Lubbock, 23 February 1874, concerning his wish to purchase, instead of continuing to rent, a little wood that adjoined the Down House property. The wood contained the ‘sandwalk’, the gravel path on which CD made several circuits a day for exercise and uninterrupted thinking.
Lubbock had explained that his marriage settlement might preclude the sale of the land to CD (see the letter from John Lubbock, 27 February 1874).
Both Lubbock’s note to Denby and the letter from John Lubbock, 27 February 1874, were written at the bottom of the sheet of paper on which CD wrote his letter to John Lubbock, 23 February 1874 (see n. 1, above); Denby therefore had all the correspondence to hand.


Writes concerning the land he wishes to purchase from Sir John Lubbock.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Thomas William Denby
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 97: C43
Physical description
Adraft 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9327,” accessed on 15 August 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 22