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Darwin Correspondence Project

To T. H. Huxley   25 April 1873

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

April 25/73

My dear Huxley

Your letter has delighted me, but this is a weak term, for it is written in so grand & sweet a spirit that it has quite affected me.1 I will send a copy to your seventeen other friends, for I am very sure that they will be anxious to read the whole, & I am equally sure that they will all be made as profoundly happy as I have been.2 Those of your friends who met together instructed me to give, if you demanded it, the names of the eighteen, but without any further details.3

Owing to an error 50£ has been omitted, which I now enclose by my own cheque instead of that received this morning; but this does not increase the number of (18) your friends.4

God grant for the sake of the public, yourself & dear family that rest from too much labour may do your health great good.

In Haste | Yours affectionately | Ch. Darwin

What dreadful news about Lady Lyell.5 What will become of Lyell!


A copy of Huxley’s letter of 24 April 1873 was enclosed with the letter to subscribers to T. H. Huxley’s gift, [25 April 1873].
Several of Huxley’s friends met on 8 April 1873 to discuss raising the subscription (see letter to William Spottiswoode, [8 April 1873]).
Charles Lyell made an initial contribution of £50 and sent the additional amount by 25 April 1873 (see letter to Charles Lyell, [25 April 1873], and Appendix V).
Mary Elizabeth Lyell died on 24 April 1873, following a brief illness (see letter from E. A. Darwin to Emma Darwin, 24 April [1873]).


Affected by THH’s letter – will send a copy to the other 17 friends. Hopes for his and public’s sake his health will improve.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Thomas Henry Huxley
Sent from
Source of text
Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine Archives (Huxley 5: 297)
Physical description
3pp & AdraftS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8875,” accessed on 27 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 21