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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   11 September [1876]1

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

Sept 11th

My dear old Friend

I am sure you will pity us, when you hear that Amy, Frank’s wife, was safely confined & was going on apparently quite well, when she was seized with convulsion which lasted for several hours, she then sunk into a stupor & I saw her expire at 7 oclock this morning.2 She was a most sweet gentle creature, with plenty of mind beneath, & they were most happy together. No pair could have been happier. Thank God she had no suffering & never knew that she was leaving Frank & all of us for ever. I cannot think what will become of Frank. She helped & encouraged him in his scientific work & whether he will ever have heart to go on again or what he will do I cannot conceive. My dear old Friend I know that you will forgive me pouring out my grief.

Yours affectionately | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the reference to the death of Amy Darwin, Francis Darwin’s wife (ODNB s.v. Darwin, Francis).
Amy Darwin had given birth to a son, Bernard Darwin, on 7 September 1876 (ODNB).


ODNB: Oxford dictionary of national biography: from the earliest times to the year 2000. (Revised edition.) Edited by H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. 60 vols. and index. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2004.


CD grieves over death of Frank’s wife Amy; worries that it will weaken Frank’s determination to pursue his scientific work.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 95: 417–18
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10592,” accessed on 26 September 2022,

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