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Darwin Correspondence Project

To ?   [before 22 May 1877?]1

Dear Sir,

I enclose the document with, as I hope all the information which you require.2

The Clerk3 left the audited Report with you, & as the only point in it, which you will require is the sum total of F. at the end of last years Treas a/c I beg you to copy out this sum & to return the Report me at once, as I suppose I ought not to have let it get out of my hands, moreover our yearly meeting will soon arrive when I read aloud, the whole document to the members, & shd be sorry to intermit a custom of many years standing.—4

Lastly I hope that you will forgive me for remarking that as in your note you say your “fee shd be eight guineas,”5 & as the members, (who are few in number & are all with 2 or 3 exceptions poor labourers with 2 or 3 exceptions) understand that your fee is be less for any second distribution, might I beg you to reconsider the question. Though of course the Club must pay the proper charge.

Begging you to excuse for my freedom in the interest of the Club—which I started & have always undertaken to the best of my power.6 | I remain Dear Sir | Yours faithfully | Ch. Darwin

Treasurer to the Down Friendly Club


The day and month are conjectured from the reference to the annual meeting of the Down Friendly Club (see n. 4, below); the year is conjectured from the relationship between this letter and the letter to Down Friendly Club, 19 February 1877 (see n. 2, below). In 1877, Whit Tuesday fell on 22 May.
The enclosure has not been found. It may have pertained to the recent decision by the members of the Down Friendly Club to distribute a surplus of funds in their account (see letter to Down Friendly Club, 19 February 1877, and letter to J. B. Innes, 25 February [1877]). The Down Friendly Club was an assistance fund supported by members’ subscriptions (see J. R. Moore 1985, p. 469, and Browne 2002, p. 453).
Stephen Whitehead (National Archives, TNA FS 1/232/626620) or Thomas Lewis (Correspondence vol. 24, letter to J. M. F. Ludlow, 11 February 1876).
CD was treasurer of the Down Friendly Club. Its annual meeting was held on Whit Tuesday on the lawn in front of Down House, where CD would report on the financial condition of the Club ‘in a little speech seasoned with a few well-worn jokes’ (LL 1: 142–3).
The note has not been found.
CD had helped to found the Down Friendly Club in 1850, and had acted as its treasurer since its inception (see Correspondence vol. 4, letter to J. S. Henslow, 17 January [1850] and n. 6).


Browne, Janet. 2002. Charles Darwin. The power of place. Volume II of a biography. London: Pimlico.

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

LL: The life and letters of Charles Darwin, including an autobiographical chapter. Edited by Francis Darwin. 3 vols. London: John Murray. 1887–8.

Moore, James Richard. 1985. Darwin of Down: the evolutionist as squarson-naturalist. In The Darwinian heritage, edited by David Kohn. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press in association with Nova Pacifica (Wellington, NZ).


Writes as Treasurer of the Down Friendly Society; discusses financial matters related to the Society.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 96: 166
Physical description
AdraftS 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8932,” accessed on 4 August 2021,