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Darwin Correspondence Project

From William Farr   16 July 1870

General Register Office | Somerset House

1870 July 16

My dear Sir

Will you be good enough to look over the enclosed memorandum—which I regret that I have not had time to get copied.1

Could you send it here with any—suggestions—& hints as to the probable results of the Inquiry?

I saw Sir John Lubbock—& shall go to the House on Monday—when it is expected the Bill will be read a second time— This amendment can be best moved in Committee.2

I am my dear Sir | Yours very faithfully | W. Farr

P.S. I got home quite in time to meet my American Friend—Mr. Ruggles—thanks to your very lively horse.3


The memorandum has not been found, but concerned the insertion of a question about cousin marriages into the census. See letter to William Farr, 17 July [1870].
The second reading of the bill was on 22 July 1870 (Hansard parliamentary debates 3d ser., vol. 203 (1870), cols. 805–18). The Monday following 16 July was 18 July. The amendment, which was moved in committee by John Lubbock on 26 July 1870, read, ‘Amendment proposed, in page 2, line 14, after the word “condition,” to insert the words “including whether married to a first cousin.’” (Ibid., col. 1007). The proposal was defeated by a vote of ninety-two to forty-five (ibid., col. 1010).
According to Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242), Farr visited CD on 10 July 1870. Farr refers to Samuel Buckley Ruggles.


Hansard parliamentary debates:


Discusses the Census Bill and CD’s attempt to get questions on consanguineous marriage added to the census.

Letter details

Letter no.
William Farr
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
General Register Office
Source of text
DAR 164: 32
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7279,” accessed on 5 December 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 18