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Darwin Correspondence Project

To [Francis Lloyd]   1 May [1877]1

May 1st

Dear Sir—

I am sorry to hear of your illness.— I do not feel at all sure what you want me to do, but I suppose that you wish me to apply to some wealthy person to assist you.2 I know of no one to whom I could possibly apply, & to the best of my belief it would be impossible to get up any subscription in your aid. I have taken a part in some such work & I know from experience that any such attempt would be hopeless, except in the case of men who have pursued with success some definite branch of science.— Philosophical work of a general nature is esteemed by but few persons. On painful occasions like the present, it is the best plan to speak without any reserve, & as I think you must be at present in want of cash, I hope that you will allow me to send you a cheque for 10£, which I presume you could get converted into money where you now are.— 3

I will only add that from living in the country & from being in weak health, I am very ill fitted either to give advice or assistance.—

With my best wishes for your improved health, I am Dear Sir


The correspondent and year are established from the entry in CD’s Classed account books (see n. 3, below).
No letter from Lloyd has been found. Lloyd had written a critique of Francis Galton’s theory of heredity in 1876 (Lloyd 1876); a copy is in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL.
An entry in CD’s Classed account books (Down House MS) on 1 May 1877 records under ‘Charities’ a payment of £10 for ‘F. Lloyd’.


CD does not feel a subscription could be got up to aid correspondent. Sends a cheque for £10.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Francis Lloyd
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 202: 91
Physical description
ADraft 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10948,” accessed on 20 September 2021,