skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

From G. H. Darwin   [c. 17 July 1871]1

14 Arling. St | Piccadilly

My dear Father,

I have enquired about the Will from one of the pupils at Tatham’s & who was a Solicitor for about 10 years.2

He says that it is usual for the Testator & witnesses to sign at the foot; & on every other page—the testator signing at the bottom & the witnesses at the left hand margin. At the same time the will is quite good as it is & he seemed to think it hardly worth while doing anything. If it is to be resigned the last or witnessing clause must be copied out again underneath the other & then the signing done with same witnesses all thro’, but he seemed to think it wd be rather odd having two signatures one under the other tho’ no harm; He said lots of wills pass Probate with only one signature only if he had to execute one afresh, he’d do it on every page.

yrs, | G. H Darwin


The date is established by George’s address, the reference to the will, and the relationship between this letter and the letter from G. H. Darwin, [17 July 1871] (Correspondence vol. 19). George had lodgings at 14 Arlington Street, London, while he was studying law from 1869 to 1872 (see Correspondence vols. 17–20).
CD planned to add a codicil to his will to reflect the marriage settlement he was making for Henrietta Emma Darwin; Henrietta became engaged to Richard Buckley Litchfield in July 1871 [corrected from June 1871; May 2019] and married him on 31 August (Correspondence vol. 19, letter from G. H. Darwin, [17 July 1871]). George studied law with Charles Meaburn Tatham from October 1869 until 1872 (Correspondence vol. 17, letter from G. H. Darwin, [18 October 1869]); he was called to the bar on 30 April 1872, but never practised (Men-at-the-bar, ODNB). The other pupil has not been identified.


Gives CD some information on wills.

Letter details

Letter no.
George Howard Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Arlington St, 14
Source of text
DAR 210.2: 11
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6765,” accessed on 16 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 24 (Supplement)