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Darwin Correspondence Project

From WDFox   22 June [1874]1

Broadlands | Sandown | I. Wight

June 22

My dear Darwin

I fear I have not the least probability of getting you either of the plants you want. Had I been at Delamere— I might possibly have got Utricularia, but even then it was a mere chan〈ce.〉2

I have found both sp〈ecies〉 in some abundance 〈once〉 or twice, & never 〈been〉 able to again find them in the same place. It seems singular also to me that Dr Bromfield seldom saw Utricularia in flower, even when abundant,3 as when I have found it, it has been a mass of flowers— both species. I have written to “Old Price”—asking him to try to find it— & if he 〈doe〉s to send it to you.4

〈P.〉 Lusitanica I never 〈saw,〉 but on my return from Hampstead— where I am going to Charles Woodds this week— I will try to find it about Freshwater— The locality is as far as possible from me, we & P Lusitanica—occupying the extreme West & East points of the Island.5

I will also have a hunt for Utricularia— but scarcely expect to find it.

My children are much delighted at you taking up Drosera, as they used to keep plants and feed them with Beef at Delamere. All the 3 species (if such they are) were plentiful in a pet Bog of mine there— very small in extent but abounding with them— Cranberry &c with a good sprinkling of Vipers & Lizards.

Vipers are abundant here in their haunts— but few people know it. Singularly I never heard of any one being bit here. A noble snake 3 feet 4 inches long was killed last week— They abound & are always killed except by my family. 〈A〉 London Barrister in full practise, who often comes here—will stand & scream like an Infant, if he sees a slow worm, untill the Gardiner comes & valiantly slays it.

I once told you of a connexion of mine who regularly sheds her toe nails. She is now an old woman & though she still sheds them, they are not such good specimens as they were.

I heard from her a few weeks since & she tells me that a Nephew (a sisters Son) sheds his

Farewell my dear old friend. I cannot tell you how many of the pleasantest memories of my life are connected with your good Father, Caroline, Susan, & yourself.6

Kindest regards to Mrs Darwin | Ever yours W D Fox


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to W. D. Fox, 18 June 1874.
See letter to WD. Fox, 18 June 1874. Fox had resigned the rectorship of Delamere, Cheshire, in 1873 (Alum. Cantab.). Utricularia is bladderwort.
Fox refers to William Arnold Bromfield. See letter from W. E. Darwin, [before 18 June 1874].
For places in the Isle of Wight where Pinguicula lusitanica (pale bladderwort) had been found, see the letter from W. E. Darwin, [before 18 June 1874]. Fox’s brother-in-law, Charles Henry Lardner Woodd, lived at Roslyn House, Lyndhurst Road, Hampstead (Census returns of England and Wales 1871 (The National Archives: Public Record Office RG10/192/61/29)).
Robert Waring Darwin; Caroline Sarah Wedgwood; Susan Elizabeth Darwin.


Alum. Cantab.: Alumni Cantabrigienses. A biographical list of all known students, graduates and holders of office at the University of Cambridge, from the earliest times to 1900. Compiled by John Venn and J. A. Venn. 10 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1922–54.


Will try to get certain insectivorous plants for CD, especially Utricularia. Is glad to hear he has taken up Drosera.

Letter details

Letter no.
William Darwin Fox
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 164: 198, 198/2
Physical description
4pp damaged

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9507,” accessed on 29 July 2021,

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