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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Thomas Salt   12 November [1849]1

Down Farnborough Kent

Novr. 12th.

My dear Sir

I have heard from my Brother that Lord Powis will pay off the 20,000£ mortgage by next Lady Day (the money perhaps being ready before that day) & I should feel extremely obliged to you, if you would endeavour to procure me another mortgage to that amount. My Brother, also tells me that he will have to pay me 10,000£ in cash on that same day, & therefore if you could procure a mortgage up to 25,000 or even 30,000. I should be very glad.2 Two mortgages would of course, be the same to me.— Of the 20,000£, half is trust-money of Mrs. Darwin, the other half being my own.—

I look at absolute security of investment as more important than rate of interest. I should be very much obliged if you would be so good as to bear this in mind.—

As one of the family I beg to thank you for the kind interest you have shown in our affairs3 & remain my dear Sir | Yours faithfully & obliged | C. Darwin

T. Salt. Esqre

P.S. | I should be glad if in the course of a month or two you would inform me whether you think it likely that you could find securities to above amount: otherwise I must look out unwillingly for some other investment.


The year is established by the reference to the repayment by the earl of Powis (Edward James Herbert) of a £20,000 loan (see n. 2, below).
According to CD’s Investment book (Down House MS), p. 33, Herbert had borrowed £20,000 from him in 1844. Herbert’s last interest payment was in May 1850, and the same £20,000 was lent to William Mostyn Owen from August 1850. Lady Day was 24 March. There is no record of a payment of £10,000 from Erasmus Alvey Darwin in CD’s Account books–banking account (Down House MS).
Salt had been solicitor to CD’s father, Robert Waring Darwin, and had helped to wind up R. W. Darwin’s affairs after his death in November 1848.


Asks if Mr Salt could arrange to invest up to £30,000 on his behalf.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Thomas Salt
Source of text
Rachel Salt (private collection); sold by Spink’s (dealers), July 2018
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1269F,” accessed on 25 September 2021,

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