skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To Hugh Falconer    16 April [1856]1

Down, | Bromley, | Kent

April 16th

My dear Falconer.

Hooker tells me that you vow you will not go anywhere, but I do so want to see you that I send this as a forlorn hope.—2 It shows a strong mind to break a rash and foolish resolution.—

Hooker and one or two others are coming here on the 25th. & 26th. staying till Monday 28th.,3 & I have so very, very pleasant a recollection of your former visit, that I cannot but hope that the recollection if still existent with you is not unpleasant—4

My wife has as pleasant a remembrance of your visit as I have, & she will not be able to see you any other way, so do be a good man & cast your resolutions to the dogs & come, if it be only for a Sunday, & please & flatter both my wife & self;5 and forgive me for troubling you

My dear Falconer. | Yours very sincerely. | Ch. Darwin

There is a Coach from Golden Cross Charing Cross at 314 which would drop you at Farnboro’, 2 miles to this house.—


Dated by the invitation for Falconer to visit Down with other guests on the weekend of 25 to 28 April (see n. 3, below).
After returning to England late in 1855, having retired from the Indian civil service, Falconer visited a number of museums in Europe in connection with his study of vertebrate fossils. In a letter to Joseph Dalton Hooker, 8 April [1856] (Correspondence vol. 6), CD asked Hooker whether Falconer had returned yet and whether he had Falconer’s address.
Hooker and his wife visited Down from 22 to 28 April 1856 (Emma Darwin’s diary). They were joined by Thomas Vernon Wollaston on 25 April and Thomas Henry Huxley and his wife on 26 April. During this weekend party, CD and his guests discussed the question of species at length. See Correspondence vol. 6.
Falconer had previously visited the Darwins in March 1846 (see Correspondence vol. 3, letter to J. D. Hooker, [13 March 1846]. [A reference to a letter to Hugh, [before 8 March 1846], that appeared in the version of this footnote published in the Correspondence vol. 7 supplement has been removed as that letter was subsequently redated.]
Falconer held to his resolution and did not join the party.


Invites him to visit. JDH and one or two others coming.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Hugh Falconer
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 144: 18
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3509,” accessed on 25 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 7 (Supplement)