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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Josiah Wedgwood III   [July 1848]1



Dear Jos.

I am sorry to hear about the Calls due, for I thought all had been paid up in advance; some certainly was, as I remember requesting & have received interest. But I have never received latterly any particulars, except of the first great purchases, in the 4 Railways, in which Emma’s money is placed.—2 I do not understand, whether it is capital or interest, which you expect as perhaps coming in before this call of 45£ is due. It would require (supposing that the calls have not been already paid & overlooked by the N.W. Railway, & they are capable of mistakes, as I have just detected them in overcharging as they have acknowledged me 10£) 162£, besides the 45£ now due, to pay off the whole of these nine 25£. If capital was coming in, I shd be very glad to pay off all at once.— Otherwise of course I must pay the calls myself, as they come due, for I cannnot advance 162 + 45 = 207£.— Please to let me know, when I must send the 45£.

Are you sure that I have nine shares of 25£; I never heard of it before, that I can remember:3 Are you trustee for anyone else, who has shares in L. & N.W. Railway? As I have said I have never received the later particulars of all the money invested in Railways in your & Eras’ name’s:4 I have occasionally known that calls &c have been paid, but not the precise sums & dates: I have long been intending to ask you to let me know all the money thus invested with as full particulars as you know. It has occurred to me, as least trouble to you to copy out all that I have in my own Book,5 about Emma’s property, & will you kindly make it complete.

Yours affect. | C. Darwin


Dated from an entry of 1 August 1848 in CD’s Account Book (Down House MS): ‘Paid calls July for Emma 45£ [interl] in N. W. Railway’.
The four railways mentioned as part of Emma’s trust in CD’s Investment Book (Down House MS) are the London and North Western, Grand Junction, Great Western, and North Staffordshire.
CD’s Investment Book lists ‘9 new [shares] at 25£’ under London and North Western Railway at the head of an entry, dated June 1846, under ‘Emma’s Trust Property’.
Josiah Wedgwood III and Erasmus Alvey Darwin were the trustees of the fund set up for Emma on her marriage to CD.
With this letter there is an enclosure detailing Emma’s investments, evidently copied out of CD’s Investment Book (Down House MS). The enclosed account lists payments totalling £441 11s. 2d. made by CD on calls, deposits, and instalments debited to Emma’s trust account during 1846 and 1847. The account is credited with £350 4s. 7d., leaving a balance due to CD of £91 6s. 7d.


Writes about Emma’s trust account investments and calls due upon them. Sends his record and asks JW to bring it up to date.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Josiah Wedgwood, III
Sent from
Source of text
V&A / Wedgwood Collection (MS W/M 1019)
Physical description
4pp, encl 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1142,” accessed on 16 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 4