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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Lubbock   23 February 1874

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Feb 23. 1874

My dear Lubbock

I am going to beg a great favour of you, in the hope that you will be inclined to grant it. I believe that when I & my wife are dead this house would sell much better if the little wood which I rent from you belonged to the property.1 In the Agreement the land is said to be 1 acre 2 rods & 16 perches. Now will you sell it me, which I shd prefer as I have not too much land for my cows; or if not, will you exchange it for part of a field of mine between this house & Luxted. The part coloured blue in the enclosed plan2 will shew you the position of the land, & an area, (as measured by my son Leonard) approximately the same as your little wood. This I should be very glad to exchange with you. It is old pasture land, bought several years ago from Mr Wood,3 & you will see that it adjoins your own land. I think any agent whom you might send to view this field will admit that it is of considerably better quality than the field from which the wood was taken. A surveyor wd have to measure off from my field the exact quantity, & I wd of course make the new fence & pay all law & other expences.

Pray reflect over my request & if you can, grant it.

Believe me | my dear Lubbock | yours very sincerely | Charles Darwin


In 1846, CD had made an agreement with John William Lubbock, Lubbock’s father, to rent a piece of land adjoining CD’s own land for £1 12s. a year, the land to be planted by CD with shrubs and trees. The original agreement was for twenty-one years, but must have been renewed. The land included the sandwalk, CD’s ‘thinking path’. The original agreement is in DAR 210.10: 12; see also Correspondence vol. 3, letter to J. W. Lubbock, [16 January 1846].
The plan has not been found.
Probably George Wood, of Down.


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


CD wishes to acquire a piece of JL’s land.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Lubbock, 4th baronet and 1st Baron Avebury
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 261.7: 8 (EH 88205933)
Physical description
4pp & AdraftS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9310,” accessed on 5 August 2020,

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