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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Lubbock   3 May [1875]1

Down, Beckenham, Kent. (Railway Station | Orpington. S.E.R.)

May 3d

My dear Sir John

As I have a chance of sending this note early to London, it will be better than a telegram.2 Tuesday week will suit me just as well as Friday.— Seeing anyone here tires me less than elswhere, but I think High Elms would be much better, if you do not object, as I could get away pretty soon, & I do not see how I could get a sort of living Royal Duke out of my house within the short time I can talk to anyone.—3

Pray do the best you can for me & settle whatever you think best. | Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the proposed visit from the duke of Teck (see n. 3, below).
Lubbock was a banker in the City of London.
CD was expecting a visit from Francis, duke of Teck; High Elms was Lubbock’s house and estate near Down. In the event, the duke was unable to visit because he had to attend a party at Windsor Castle on that day (The Times, 13 May 1875, p. 11). Elizabeth Darwin expressed the Darwin family’s relief that the visit had been put off and their hope that it would never take place in her letter to G. H. Darwin, [14 May 1875] (DAR 251: 1408). The meeting eventually took place on 9 August 1875, when the duke visited CD at Down House before going on to High Elms for lunch (John Lubbock’s diary, BL Add mss 62680).


Arrangements to meet a Duke [unidentified] at High Elms [Lubbock residence].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Lubbock, 4th baronet and 1st Baron Avebury
Sent from
Source of text
The British Library (Add MS 49644: 79–80)
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9968,” accessed on 31 March 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 23