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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Fanny Owen    2 [December 1831]


Friday 2d.—

My dear Charles—

In a letter I had from Catherine yesterday, she told me you were still waiting in suspense at Plymouth, & it was uncertain whether you sailed on the 5th or not— I hope not that this may reach you in time, for I want to have one bit more chat with you— I thought you were expecting every day to be yr. last at Plymouth so that if I wrote to you it would be useless or I assure you I should not have been silent all this time— my dear Charles how I do wish you had been with us on the awful 22d .1 I am sure you would thoroughly have enjoyed it all—from beginning to end it certainly (tho’ I say it who should not) did go off most brilliantly— I was the Undertaker and managed the whole affair from cutting up of a Ton of cake to making gallons of Rum Punch for the evening’s festivities— Susan & I of course you know were the Bridesmaids, and Mr. Charles Jones the Bridesmaid’s Man, about 10 carriages I think composed the Procession to Felton, the dew Drops fell about 11 o’clock, and I think really every body behaved with becoming fortitude & resignation—as for poor Mama she was wonderful The Bridegroom I think was the most flabbergasted of the whole party, poor thing I was quite sorry for him, he was as white as a sheet and as I supported him to the halter I really expected he wd have fainted, no brandy was at hand tho’ he entreated to have some— his stammering he was dreadfully nervous about but got through it all wonderfully the word ch ch ch ch ch–erish did stick some time but that was the only one— “As soon as the ceremony was over the happy Pair stept into their travelling carriage (green we are informed) and proceeded with all possible speed on a romantic Tour to the Metropolis, where it is understood they intend to attend all the Theatres”— you may laugh at this announcement but it is a fact — did you ever hear of any thing half so unsentimental, the very first night they arrived in Town off they went to Covent Garden, the next to the Adelphi, & so on every night they have been in London— it was so like Sarah—determined to lose no time— but to return to our festivities at home— we had actually 37 people to dinner, two Tables, I President of a side table, and didn’t I pass the Champagne I never allowed a glass to be empty a moment but before the Cloth was removed all my gentlemen became so much more elevated than those at the other table that I began to be in a fright lest they should expose themselves—but luckily nobody was too much elevated except Mr. B. O. who rose to propose the Ealth of our Ost & Ostess and caused much fun— very numerous were the healths & toasts, drunk with 3 times 3—and several neat & appropriate speeches, also a beautiful song by that wild Genius Mr. Crofton, composed by himself for the occasion, and it is much admired— I wd send it you but think it not worth a double letter— after dinner, the dining room was cleared & prepared for dancing. A most brilliant Ball we had, kept up with the greatest spirit till 5 oclock on Wednesday morning, all the servants dancing. Papa opened the Ball to the tune of “come haste to the Wedding”, with Mrs. Kenyon, can you fancy them?— country dances were the order of the night, and excellent fun we had the only draw back was an occasional dreadful kick, from the too well shod Fantastic toes of some of the Beaux, but this was to be expected— altogether we had excellent fun, & I do sincerely regret my dear Charles, you were not of th〈e〉 Party, you might just as well have been as 〈    〉 at Plymouth— How tiresome it is their keep〈ing〉 you so long in suspense— Pray my dear Charles do write me one last adieu if you have a spare half hour before you sail— I should like very much to send you some account of us now & then during yr. absence if I knew where to direct to you? You cannot imagine how I have missed you already at the Forest, & how I do long to see you again— may every happiness & pleasure attend you dear Charles, and return to us as soon as you can I selvishly say!— I miss poor Sarah very much it seems like a dream I can hardly yet believe she is really gone!— I have no news really to tell you. I wish I had. Mrs. Mytton is staying here at present she came for the wedding, having got her divorce business all settled before, and her Squire being safe at Calais, poor thing she is as happy as possible, & we are delighted to have her to keep up our spirits— I must tell you if you should not have heard of it that Edward Williams with all proper Brother in Law good feelings presented me the other day with a beautiful Horse at Mr. Gore’s sale— it is nearly thorough Bred, and beautiful, quite perfect I think & I am delighted with my present— all the fine things from Howell & James’s would not have pleased me half as much— I have made the Governor give me a new London saddle & bridle for old Goldfinder, so you see I am quite a splendid turn out, on coming to my Title of Miss Owen — that name I must keep up with all proper dignity, & what a steady old sober body you will find me when you return from your Savage Islands— Miss Fanny Sparling, is going to marry Dry Corbett!!!2 This is said every where as a positive fact — he has been living at Felton almost lately & we heard she said she did not know what people could find to laugh at in Dry — it is really too good —& it is devoutly to be hoped they will make a match of it for the diversion it will afford the Country—which is very flat I think at present—

I hear you like Plymouth very much, I thought it a delightful place when I was there for a few days, there is so much going on—

If you have time write to me my dear Charles— how I do wish you had not this horrible Beettle taste you might have staid “asy” with us here I cannot bear to part with you for so long—

God bless you my dear Charles excuse my dulness but believe me always | Yours most affectly| Fanny Owen


The wedding day of Sarah Owen and Edward Hosier Williams.
Dryden Robert Corbet of Sundorne Castle, Shropshire.


Describes the wedding of her sister Sarah and related festivities. She misses CD very much.

Letter details

Letter no.
Frances (Fanny) Mostyn Owen/Frances (Fanny) Myddelton Biddulph
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
DE 〈4〉 18〈3〉1
Source of text
DAR 204: 54
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 151,” accessed on 19 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 1