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Darwin Correspondence Project

To ?   [after June 1868]1

I received an excellent character of J. A.2 from a Lady residing at Reigate.—3 He has lived with me for the last six months footman, & leaves my service at his own request, as he prefers the situation of a porter.— During the time he has lived with me, he has been perfectly sober & honest, & has invariably shown himself in every way obliging to a remarkable degree.— [He is active & busy] & [enjoys] good health.


The date is established by the entries in CD’s account books for James Archer (see n. 2, below).
James Archer was employed as a manservant at Down House in 1868; payments to Archer are listed in CD’s Account books–cash account and Classed accounts (Down House MSS) for April and June 1868.
The letter of reference has not been found. The ‘lady’ may be Frances Farrer, wife of Thomas Henry Farrer of Abinger Hall, Reigate, Surrey, and a relative of Fanny Wedgwood.


Testimonial for James Archer, who leaves CD’s service after six months.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 96: 54
Physical description
Adraft 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5747,” accessed on 28 July 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 16