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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. T. Austen   17 June 1863

West Wickham—

June 17 | 1863

My dear Sir,

I have seen Dennen who has thus explained the business of the negotiation for a loan of Percival’s savings—1 He says that his Brother R Dennen2 owes money to a friend for which he is paying 10 per cent, that he is now in a positio⁠⟨⁠n⁠⟩⁠ to pay it off by Instalm⁠⟨⁠ents⁠⟩⁠ but the friend wishes th⁠⟨⁠e⁠⟩⁠ ⁠⟨⁠wh⁠⟩⁠ole t⁠⟨⁠o be⁠⟩⁠ repaid forthwith— it therefore occurred to him, G Dennen, that he could ⁠⟨⁠b⁠⟩⁠enefit both his Brother & Percival— he was certain his Brother could find securities, he had likewise a Policy on his life which would be given up— G Dennen offered 10 cent because his Brother was paying that rate of Interest. His Brother is laying by money ⁠⟨⁠to⁠⟩⁠ pay off the debt, but his ⁠⟨⁠fri⁠⟩⁠end did not wish⁠⟨⁠to r⁠⟩⁠eceive it by Instalments therefore G Dennen thought it would not be fair to propose to Percival to pay him by Instalments, as his Brother by Investing in a Deposit Bank would diminish the amount of Interest he now pays— He mentioned the subject to Percival without having spoken to his Brother, who he says did not approve of the terms— he considered the conversation to be preliminary only.

I am satisfied that he has never been before engaged in any similar transaction— he is very sorry that he acted so foolishly— I really believe he simply thought he was availing himself of an opportunity of benefitting an industrious man, but he has been a great fool— The Meeting will be called for Saturday week I believe— perhaps ⁠⟨⁠you⁠⟩⁠ will kindly in the mean time take the matter into your consideration— Dennen earnestly hopes there ⁠⟨⁠may⁠⟩⁠ be no exposure

yours very truly | John Thos. Austen.

C Dar⁠⟨⁠wi⁠⟩⁠n Esq


George Dennen was the secretary of the Bromley Savings Bank, of which CD and Austen were trustees (see letters from J. T. Austen, 27 May 1863, 29 May 1863, 30 May 1863, and 3 June 1863). Mr Percival has not been identified.
Dennen’s brother has not been identified.


Gives G. Dennen’s explanation of why he attempted to lend Percival’s savings at 10%: to assist his brother then repaying a loan made at 10%. Meeting [of trustees] to be called soon.

Letter details

Letter no.
John Thomas Austen
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
West Wickham
Source of text
DAR 159: 132
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4214,” accessed on 26 October 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 11