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Record number: WCP5312

Sent by:
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent to:
Joseph Dalton Hooker
29 June 1858

Sent by Charles Robert Darwin, Down, Bromley, Kent to Joseph Dalton Hooker [none given] on 29 June 1858.

Record created:
20 May 2013 by Chillingworth, Nancy


Conveys news of the death of Darwin's baby son. References letters received from Hooker regarding the suggestion that they present Wallace's paper and Darwin's writings as a joint paper to the Linnaean Society.

Record contains:

  • letter (1)

View item:

LETTER (WCP5312.5856)

A typical letter handwritten by author in English and signed by author.

Held by:
Cambridge University Library
Finding number:
MS DAR 114: 239
Copyright owner:
©William H. Darwin

Physical description

Transcription information





Tuesday [29 June 1858]1

My dearest Hooker,

You will, & so will Mrs Hooker2 be most sorry for us when you hear that poor Baby died yesterday evening. I hope to God that he did not suffer so much as he appeared. He became quite suddenly worse. It was Scarlet-Fever. It was the most [[2]] blessed relief to see his poor little innocent face resume its sweet expression in the sleep of death. -- Thank God he will never suffer more in this world.

I have received your letter. I cannot think now on subject, but soon will. But I can see that you [[3]] have acted with more kindness & so has Lyell3 even than I could have expected from you both most kind as you are.

I can easily get my letter to Asa Gray4 copied, but it is too short. --

Poor Emma5 behaved nobly & how she stood it all I cannot conceive. [[4]] It was wonderful relief, when she could let her feelings break forth --

God bless you. -- You shall hear soon as I can think

Yours affectionately | C. Darwin [signature]


1. The date is given by the endorsement and by Darwin's reference to the death of the baby. Charles Waring Darwin died on Monday, 28 June 1858.

2. Hooker, Mrs Francis Harriet (née Henslow) (1825-1874). Wife of Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker.

3. Lyell, Sir Charles (1797-1875). British lawyer and geologist.

4. Gray, Asa (1810-1888). American botanist.

5. Darwin, Mrs Emma (née Wedgwood) (1908-1896). Wife and first cousin of Charles Darwin.


This transcript is based on that produced by The Darwin Correspondence Project (http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/): see


Please note that work on this transcript is not yet complete. Users are advised to study electronic image(s) of this document, if available.