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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Higgins1   13 June [1860]

Down Bromley Kent

June 13th

My dear Sir

You need not fear my changing my mind, I have £18,000 as good as ready money (ie £16,800 on Grt. N., & N.W. Railway Bonds; & the remainder on Deposit account at 7 days notice) & I shd not object to sell Railway shares for another £2000. or even £3000. Beyond this £21,000, I shd. not much like to go.—2 I have no objection to the situation of the Farm; as I want it as a safe investment for my sons, it will depend whether land good— Buildings in fair repair & price what you consider reasonable. On all these points I must rely on your kindness & judgment. If what you hear is promising I trust to your being so good as to inspect the land; for this is for me an important purchase.—

I may mention that my Bonds have about 112 year to run, & pay me good interest 412 & 434, so that I am in no hurry & my Deposit account will slowly increase.—   So please not to purchase unless you think the investment a fairly good one. I shall certainly invest in land to above amount.3

I do not know how you will manage if you buy at auction about paying Deposit money, until titles are examined by my solicitors.4 I may mention that I have about £1400 or £1500 current account & on emergency I could draw nearly all out.—

With my sincere thanks for your uniform kindness, I remain My dear Sir | Yours very faithfully | C. Darwin

P.S. | As soon as you have decided that the Land seems promising, kindly inform me as my eldest son,5 would like to see it & will start immediately; & will after looking at it, probably come on to Alford & look at Beesby & Claythorpe.—6


Higgins was the Darwin family’s agent who managed their investments in Lincolnshire farms. CD owned farms near Alford.
CD had written to Higgins asking him to look for another farm for him to purchase. See Correspondence vol. 7, letter to John Higgins, 26 December 1859.
In 1854, CD had asked Higgins to look for land to purchase and then changed his mind (see Correspondence vol. 5, letter to John Higgins, 9 April [1854]).
CD’s solicitor was Thomas Salt of the Shrewsbury law firm of Dukes and Salt.
The land was intended to form an investment to be divided among CD’s sons (see Correspondence vol. 7, letter to John Higgins, 26 December 1859). William Erasmus Darwin was CD’s oldest son.
Beesby farm had been bought for CD by his father, Robert Waring Darwin, in 1845 (see Correspondence vol. 3). Claythorpe farm was owned by CD’s sister Susan Elizabeth Darwin.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.


Discusses possible purchase of land.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Higgins
Sent from
Source of text
Lincolnshire Archives (HIG/4/2/3/3)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2831,” accessed on 26 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 8