skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

From Robert Monsey Rolfe   4 October 1864

Holwood | Bromley

4 Oct 1864

My dear Mr Darwin

I send you a cheque for £10.10 being the sum I have usually contributed to your Down Charities—1 The payment has not generally been made so early as this time, but I can have no objection to consider it payable in October instead of (as formerly) in December—2

I shd be very glad to know that you are better, & improving from what you were, when we had the pleasure of a short glimpse of you— You have been a sad sufferer of late, but we thought you had a look of improving health about you, & I trust we were not mistaken

Yours very truly | Cranworth


Rolfe was an annual subscriber to the Down Friendly Club and the Down Coal and Clothing Club, of which CD was treasurer (Freeman 1978); in addition CD distributed Rolfe’s annual subscriptions to a day school and a Sunday school in Down (see Correspondence vol. 7, letter to John Lubbock, 14 December [1859]). The Down Friendly Club was a local savings and insurance society, while the Coal and Clothing Club existed to supply working-class parishioners with cheap coal and clothing in exchange for regular savings; the account books, kept by CD, are in the Darwin Archive–Down House. In 1864, CD recorded the receipt of Rolfe’s annual donation of £10 10s. in his Account book–banking account (Down House MS) on 18 November under the heading ‘Ld. Cranworth cheque for charities’. On the same day CD noted in his Account book–cash account (Down House MS), ‘Ld Cranworth. Charities 9.9.0 to Mr Stephens 1.1.0 F. Club’. Thomas Sellwood Stephens was curate at Down (Freeman 1978). On CD’s philanthropic work at Down, see Moore 1985, p. 466.
Rolfe had for the last two years sent his cheque for the Down charities in November (see Correspondence vol. 10, letter from R. M. Rolfe, 28 November 1862, and Correspondence vol. 11, letter from R. M. Rolfe, [20 November 1863]).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Freeman, Richard Broke. 1978. Charles Darwin: a companion. Folkestone, Kent: William Dawson & Sons. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, Shoe String Press.

Moore, James Richard. 1985. Darwin of Down: the evolutionist as squarson-naturalist. In The Darwinian heritage, edited by David Kohn. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press in association with Nova Pacifica (Wellington, NZ).


Sends £10 for Down charities.

Letter details

Letter no.
Robert Monsey Rolfe, 1st Baron Cranworth of Cranworth
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Holwood, Bromley
Source of text
DAR 161: 231
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4626,” accessed on 5 April 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 12