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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Elizabeth Wedgwood1   [25 September 1842]



My dear Charles

Thank God for the good news your letter brings—2 I send the phaeton for Mrs Bennett who is with Mrs Stone at Newcastle, and I am therefore half afraid she may not be able to set out tonight— the phaeton will wait and bring her to the train if she can—3

My poor dear Emma what sad news to meet her after her labour. I continue to hope however— my father still takes food often, and his pulse varies only between 80 and 90, and does not seem to me very weak— but his voice is very indistinct and his wandering now incessant. He asked for Charles just now, and said it was not Charles Langton How could such words as your’s dear Charles pain me? oh if such a man could be still spared us!

Mr Garner4 yesterday seemed to think him quite as well as he expected. He has not yet been today.

I do hope Catharine will be able to go.

I am very glad it is a little girl, though I dont know now whether Emma cares—

My best of loves to my dear Emma—& goodbye—


Elizabeth Wedgwood’s handwriting identified by Ian H. C. Fraser, Keele University Library.
CD’s letter of Friday, 23 September, apparently announced the birth of Mary Eleanor Darwin.
According to CD’s Account Book (Down House MS) £2 7s. were paid on 25 September to cover ‘Fly for Mrs Bennett & travelling expenses’. Further entries indicate that Mrs Bennett was Mary Eleanor’s wet-nurse.
Robert Garner, physician in Stoke-upon-Trent and surgeon to the North Staffordshire Infirmary.


Reports on Josiah Wedgwood [II], who is seriously ill.

Letter details

Letter no.
Sarah Elizabeth (Elizabeth) Wedgwood
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
V&A / Wedgwood Collection (MS W/M 260)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 643,” accessed on 31 July 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 2