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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John William Lubbock   [December 1848–9]1


Dear Sir John.

I am much obliged for your note & kind permission to use the schoolroom.—2 I have appointed Mr. Nash3 to come next Wednesday.—

You say in your note you have sent me a drawing; I merely mention this in case of any accident to it, for I have received none.

Will you be so kind as to tell your son (in case my wife does not see Lady Lubbock, when she leaves this note) that I am anxious to hear about the microscope4 & if he would like half an hour’s talk, I hope & trust I shd. be able to see him tomorrow (Thursday) at 2 oclock or Friday at about same hour.— I was very sorry that he shd. have had the trouble of calling twice, but of late I have really been able to see nobody.—

I am much obliged for your kind invitation to meet Mr. Adams5 on Sunday, but as my man told you, I was very unwell that day.

Yours sincerely | C. Darwin To | Sir J. W. Lubbock Bart

Thank you, also, for your Paper on Meteors.—6


The date range is based on this letter having been written on the stationery with a broad mourning border which CD used for about a year following the death of his father, and on Lubbock’s papers on meteors (see n. 6, below).
Lubbock owned the schoolroom and rented it to the Down School Committee. CD and Emma occasionally requested use of the schoolroom for various community meetings (Moore 1985, p. 471).
Possibly John Nash, shoemaker of Farnborough, two miles from Down.
Probably John Couch Adams, the astronomer and mathematician.


Lubbock, John William. 1848–9. On shooting stars. Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science 3d ser. 32: 81-8, 170–2; 35: 356–7.

Moore, James Richard. 1985. Darwin of Down: the evolutionist as squarson-naturalist. In The Darwinian heritage, edited by David Kohn. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press in association with Nova Pacifica (Wellington, NZ).


Thanks JWL for the use of a schoolroom.

Arranges to meet JWL’s son [John] to discuss use of microscope.

Mentions illness.

Thanks JWL for his paper ["Shooting stars", London Edinburgh & Dublin Philos. Mag. 32 (1848): 81–8, 170–2; 35 (1849): 356–7].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John William Lubbock, 3d baronet
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.77)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1212,” accessed on 3 August 2021,

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