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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Fanny Mackintosh Wedgwood   25 April [1851]

Friday the 25 April

My dearest Emma & Charles—

On this day I must write to you knowing that our hearts have one common feeling, & that I need not fear to hurt you—in telling you that Hensleigh & I are just returned from that sad & last work of laying your dear child in her earthly resting place— We went at 9 o’clock & I think every thing was rightly arranged as you would have wished— I feared for Miss Thorley & still more for poor Brodie & she has suffered poor thing most sadly & had to be lifted into the carriage, but since she has been relieved by a long fit of crying & is lying down now— Miss Thorley was more composed than I expected only now & then with bursts of grief—poor thing— There never could have been a child laid in the ground with truer sorrow round her than your sweet & happy Annie— How very kind in you my dear Emma to write me your note—at such a time. I felt it such a comfort on my return to the house to find it, & that you were then as I hoped having Charles with you— I cannot be surprised at yr fears for him it will be hardly possible that he should not be ill— I shall be very anxious to hear how he arrived & I know I shall have a line on Monday from dear Fanny or Elizabeth I am sure he could not have gone through being with us this morning—& have never ceased being thankful that he went yesterday—

I have advised Brodie to go straight home tomorrow she longs to be there & when she finds you want her I hope she will be able to put restraint on herself1 She can be at Down before 9 oclock we have taken Miss Thorley out a drive & she is better— She thanks you with her grateful love for your message & she will write to you fm home— We all leave this sad place together at 9 tomorrow morning— Thank you dearest Emma for telling me I had given you some comfort—& Thank God that you are well—

Yr most affectionate | F E W—2

Dr Gully has been to enquire if I had heard how you & Charles were— he is full of kindness


According to Henrietta Litchfield, Brodie ‘stayed with us till my sister died in 1851, and then through grief quite lost her self-control, and, indeed, almost her reason, and insisted on leaving.’ (Emma Darwin (1915) 2: 86).
Fanny Mackintosh Wedgwood’s full name was Frances Emma [Mackintosh] Wedgwood.


Emma Darwin (1915): Emma Darwin: a century of family letters, 1792–1896. Edited by Henrietta Litchfield. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1915.


Tells of the burial of Anne.

Letter details

Letter no.
Frances Emma Elizabeth (Fanny) Wedgwood
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 210.13: 33
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1419,” accessed on 24 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 5