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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. S. Henslow   8 March [1853]

Down Farnborough Kent

March 8th.

My dear Henslow.

I am extremely much obliged to you for writing to Mr. Warren: I this morning heard from him from Brighton: a very obliging note, telling me he believes that every thing is going on quite rightly with the Company: & that a friend of his, “a man high in the Law” is a shareholder, who lives in London, & will see all right. This is extremely satisfactory to me. My apprehension that there was nothing to keep the Company any longer to-gether, & therefore no security for my money must be groundless.— I am really ashamed to think what trouble I have given you in regard to this Company. It has been my first, & certainly it shall be my last speculation.1 You shall have no more trouble on this head; & I hardly know anyone excepting yourself, whom I could have troubled as I have done.—

I have copied the dates when you will be in London; & if I have to go up at all near those dates, I will write to Hooker, & find out your movements, & where I could see you. My wife & I often say that one of the very few things we regret, in having left London, is losing your visits.—

I am astonished at the Snow having been so deep as to keep you from Ipswich: I am glad that the meeting went off so well.—2 I sent £1 . s 1 : 0 to G. Ransome, when he applied to me sometime since;3 & I did not intend to give any more; but if you find that so small an addition as another guinea, will make any difference, you can at any time put my name down for that: I fear you will think me rather shabby, but there are plenty of local calls for money, I find, & I presume everyone finds it so.

My dear Henslow | Most truly yours | Charles Darwin

I have of course written to Mr. Warren & told him I wd. inform you that he had written to me.—


From CD’s Investment book (Down House MS), a likely candidate for the ‘speculation’ would appear to be the Patent Siliceous Stone Company owned by Frederick Ransome and David Thomas Ansted. Both Ransome and Ansted were friends of Henslow. CD recorded several payments and made bonded loans to the company after it was reorganised in 1852. The company failed in 1857.
The meeting referred to is probably that of the Ipswich Town Council in February 1853, at which it was voted that the town should maintain at public expense the Ipswich Museum, of which Henslow was founder and president (Russell-Gebbett 1977, p. 104).
CD recorded in his Classed account book (Down House MS) that on 5 August 1852 he made a payment to the ‘Ipswich Museum [£]1 1[s.]’. The payment was not repeated in 1853. George Ransome was secretary of the Ipswich Museum until the end of August 1852, when his resignation was requested because the museum was found to be heavily in debt (Russell-Gebbett 1977, p. 103).


Russell-Gebbett, Jean. 1977. Henslow of Hitcham: botanist, educationalist and clergyman. Lavenham, Suffolk: Terence Dalton.


CD has been reassured about his "speculation" in Mr Warren’s company. Thanks JSH for his advice and trouble.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Stevens Henslow
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 93: A21–A24
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1506,” accessed on 2 December 2021,

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