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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Higgins   2–3 December [1853]

Down Bromley Kent

Dec. 2d

My dear Sir

I cannot remember whether I acknowledged your last note— — Anyhow I hope to meet you on the 10th,1 as near as I can arrive by 1 o’clock at Woods’ Hotel Furnival Inn.2

Your’s very faithfully | C. Darwin

P.S. | I have just received your note, enclosing your account, & I have received information from the Union Bank, that they have placed to my account from you £225 : 6s : 5d, for which I am much obliged.—3 Dec. 3d.

C. Darwin

P.S. When we meet you must tell me, whether you wd. prefer 12 yearly a receipt on a stamp now that the stamp-laws are altered4


There is an entry recording a visit to London on that day in CD’s Account book (Down House MS).
Furnival’s Inn, Holborn, London (Post Office London directory 1853).
CD recorded the receipt of £225 11s. 5d. on 3 December 1853 in his Classed account book (Down House MS) for the rent from Beesby farm.
Among the wide-ranging changes in taxes and duties put forward by William Ewart Gladstone in the budget of 1853, was the introduction of a penny duty to be charged on documents functioning as receipts. After the new measure came into force on 11 October 1853, any receipt for a sum of £2 or more had to carry a one penny stamp if it was to be an admissible record of the transaction (Annual Register (1853): 56; Economist 11 (1853): 1127). CD’s next surviving letter to Higgins, 25 December 1854, acknowledging the receipt of rent, bears the appropriate stamp.


Post Office London directory: Post-Office annual directory. … A list of the principal merchants, traders of eminence, &c. in the cities of London and Westminster, the borough of Southwark, and parts adjacent … general and special information relating to the Post Office. Post Office London directory. London: His Majesty’s Postmaster-General [and others]. 1802–1967.


Arranges meeting. Discusses his account.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Higgins
Sent from
Source of text
Lincolnshire Archives (HIG/4/2/1/66)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1541,” accessed on 2 December 2021,

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