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Darwin Correspondence Project

From W. E. Darwin   28 September [1876]1


Sep 28

Please read to Father

My dear Father,

I am sorry to bother you about the purchase of the land. Higgins is soon going to be at Portsmouth & is coming over to see me. George & I both think it a decided pity not to buy at least a part of it say 12 acres out of the 15 which is all that is for sale2

Hardy is anxious for it and is willing to pay a good additional rent on the cost, on which point Higgins would make an arrangement beforehand.3 I feel sure Higgins is only anxious for the good of the property. I send plan, the land to be bought is pink but do’nt trouble to look at it.4

Geo. has just left very fairly well. I have enjoyed his visit very much but the weather has been cursed. I hope in a week or two you will be coming down here, as I am sure you must want change.5

It is beautiful the way poor Frank is struggling to work.6 My love to Mother. I am pretty well now, and get thro’ my work with only a little oppression which soon goes off, Atherley is very considerate in doing much more than his share of the work.7

I am taking a holiday today & have lots to do about the place.

Your affect son | W. E. Darwin


The year is established by the reference to CD’s visit (see n. 5, below).
William evidently consulted his brother George Howard Darwin about the purchase of land adjacent to the farm CD owned in Beesby, Lincolnshire (see Correspondence vol. 3, letter to J. S. Henslow, 25 July 1845). John Higgins was CD’s land agent there.
Francis Hardy was CD’s tenant farmer in Beesby (Correspondence vol. 6, letter to John Higgins, 19 November [1856]).
The plan has not been found in the Darwin Archive–CUL.
The Darwins visited William from 7 to 20 October 1876 (CD’s ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)).
Francis Darwin’s wife, Amy, had died on 11 September 1876, a few days after the birth of their son, Bernard. Francis was helping CD with his proof-sheets and looking for other scientific work to do (see letter to Francis Darwin, 20 September [1876]).
William was recovering from a concussion he suffered following a riding accident (see letter to Andrew Clark, [late June 1876] and n. 3). George Atherley was William’s partner in the Southampton and Hampshire Bank, Southampton.


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


Recommends that CD buy a plot of land.

Letter details

Letter no.
William Erasmus Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
Cornford Family Papers (DAR 275: 60)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10622F,” accessed on 21 October 2021,

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