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To W. D. Fox   [23 January 1831]


Congratulates WDF on passing his examination for the curacy; hopes he will find it comfortable.

CD is pleased at his own good showing.

Asks about WDF’s examination, books, etc.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  [23 Jan 1831]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 36)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-89

From George Simpson   [26] January [1831]


Congratulates CD on his "very very good degree". Asks about friends; wishes him well.

Author:  George Simpson
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [26] Jan [1831]
Classmark:  DAR 204: 41
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-90

From Henry Matthew   [2 February 1831]


Is in London living in a garret, almost penniless, and has legal and marital difficulties. He hopes to sell some verse.

Author:  Henry Matthew
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [2 Feb 1831]
Classmark:  DAR 204: 37
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-91

To W. D. Fox   [9 February 1831]


Will leave Cambridge shortly after division; plans to return for next term. With so many friends, Henslow among the foremost, it will be pleasant.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  [9 Feb 1831]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 38)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-92

From Henry Matthew   [14 February 1831]


Accepted CD’s "generous remittance" rather than go to jail; has pawned his watch. Will stay one fortnight to see whether he can do anything; if he fails he will go home. If he succeeds he will ask his father to pay his debts and nothing else for a two-year period. Is proud of the attachment CD shows.

Author:  Henry Matthew
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [14 Feb 1831]
Classmark:  DAR 204: 38
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-93

To W. D. Fox   [15 February 1831]


Informs WDF of a shipment of birds ready to be sent by Baker.

Urges WDF to read Herschel’s essay [A preliminary discourse on the study of natural philosophy (1830)] in Lardner’s [Cabinet] Cyclopedia.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  [15 Feb 1831]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 37)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-94

From Henry Matthew   [March or April 1831]


In London HM was too harassed by his wife to write; has gone home and is much bothered by his father. Looks for a place as a private tutor. Remains CD’s devoted friend.

Author:  Henry Matthew
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [Mar or Apr 1831]
Classmark:  DAR 204: 39
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-95

To W. D. Fox   [7 April 1831]


CD expects pleasant spring term; will botanise with Henslow.

He is dreaming of going to the Canary Islands for tropical scenery.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  [7 Apr 1831]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 39)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-96

From Fanny Owen   [8 April 1831]


Wants CD to come without fail on Monday, and to bring her a small bottle of oil colour, a half-dozen small brushes, and a "juicy" book of some kind.

Author:  Fanny Myddelton Biddulph
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [8 Apr 1831]
Classmark:  DAR 204: 50
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-97

To Caroline Darwin   [28 April 1831]


Had a pleasant week in London and is now enjoying Cambridge, where he is busy with work and social engagements.

Writes with great enthusiasm of his prospective trip to "the Tropics" [Canary Islands]. Henslow will cram him in geology. He is working regularly at Spanish.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Caroline Sarah Darwin; Caroline Sarah Wedgwood
Date:  [28 Apr 1831]
Classmark:  Copy
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-98

From [J. M. Herbert]   [early May 1831]


Asks CD to accept a Coddington microscope, which accompanies his anonymous note.

Compliments CD on talent and sincerity.

Author:  John Maurice Herbert
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [early May 1831]
Classmark:  DAR 204: 35
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-99

To W. D. Fox   [11 May 1831]


CD’s father has given him £200 to settle his debts.

He is delighted by a magnificent anonymous gift of a microscope.

Sees a good deal of the Henslows who are expecting a child soon.

CD still talks of the "Canary scheme"; he is learning Spanish.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  [11 May 1831]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 40)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-100

To W. D. Fox   [9 July 1831]


Poverty keeps him at Shrewsbury.

The Canary scheme still goes, CD is studying Spanish and geology.

Jenyns has started CD on Diptera.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  [9 July 1831]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 41)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-101

To J. S. Henslow   [11 July 1831]


Has been learning to use a clinometer.

Has investigated passage and fares for Canaries trip.

Rereading Humboldt.

Asks JSH to thank Jenyns for present of Diptera.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  [11 July 1831]
Classmark:  Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew: Henslow letters: 1
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-102

To C. T. Whitley    [19 July 1831]


He is "mad about Geology" and plans to ride through Wales in August with a few days at Barmouth.

Some humorous gossip.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Thomas Whitley
Date:  [19 July 1831]
Classmark:  Shrewsbury School, Taylor Library
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-102A

To W. D. Fox   1 August [1831]


Will send his insects and two or three from Henslow.

The Canary scheme takes place next June.

Is grieved WDF thinks him capable of telling falsehoods.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  1 Aug [1831]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 42)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-103

From George Peacock to J. S. Henslow   [6 or 13 August 1831]


GP has been asked to recommend a naturalist to sail with Capt. Robert FitzRoy to Tierra del Fuego and the South Sea Islands. If Leonard Jenyns is not available, whom would JSH recommend?

P.S. Urges JHS not to lose this opportunity to have collections made for "our museum".

Author:  George Peacock
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  [6 or 13] Aug 1831
Classmark:  DAR 97: B1–3
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-104

From J. S. Henslow   24 August 1831


JSH has been asked by Peacock to recommend a naturalist as companion to Capt. FitzRoy on Beagle voyage. CD the best qualified person; not a finished naturalist but amply qualified for collecting, observing, and noting.

Author:  John Stevens Henslow
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  24 Aug 1831
Classmark:  DAR 97(ser.2):4–5
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-105

From George Peacock   [c. 26 August 1831]


Details about FitzRoy and proposed voyage of Beagle. CD invited to go on the voyage as naturalist.

Author:  George Peacock
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [c. 26 Aug 1831]
Classmark:  DAR 97 (ser.2): 11–13
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-106

From R. W. Darwin to Josiah Wedgwood II   30–1 August 1831


CD has had an offer to go on a voyage of discovery for two years. RWD objects strongly, but will let CD make his case and if JW agrees with CD, RWD will change his position. In a postscript RWD adds, "Charles has quite given up … the voyage."

Author:  Robert Waring Darwin
Addressee:  Josiah Wedgwood, II
Date:  30–1 Aug 1831
Classmark:  V&A / Wedgwood Collection (MS W/M 96)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-108
Document type
01 (2)
02 (4)
03 (1)
04 (3)
05 (2)
07 (3)
08 (8)
09 (29)
10 (7)
11 (5)
12 (3)
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