RECORD: Darwin, Leonard. 1906.03.30. Letter to Bernard Darwin. CUL-DAR211.95. Transcribed by Christine Chua, edited by John van Wyhe (Darwin Online,

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Christine Chua and edited by John van Wyhe 1.2021. RN2

NOTE: Leonard Darwin (1850-1943) was the longest lived of his siblings. After his first wife Elizabeth Frances (Ida) died in 1898, he married his first cousin Charlotte Mildred Massingberd in 1900. Both marriages did not produce any children. Bernard Richard Meirion Darwin (1876-1961) was Francis Darwin's son. Bernard at thirty was making the news as an accomplished golf player.

Reproduced with permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library and William Huxley Darwin.


March 30



Mr dear Bernard

I have spoken my congratulations, but not yet written them. I am very glad I postponed doing this till after Wednesday night, because now I can do so even more heartily than before. You are a lucky man – not that luck is all on one side. But I also want my congratulations to take a practical form. I should much like to give you


some little help to make the pot boil, say £50 or £75 a year, which I hope you will continue to accept till you are a KC or the briefs roll in very rapidly. I want again to talk to William [William Erasmus Darwin, 1839-1914] before deciding on the exact figure. The future is always hid, but, as far as one can judge, my money will eventually find its way into the pockets of my nephews and nieces. But, be that as it may, I should like to feel that in my lifetime I have given you some trifling help to enable you to seize the happiness before you quickly and comfortably. You are the first of the cousinhood to go off in this way, and I am not sure what I could do for your successors in that time.

Perhaps, therefore, there is no use trumpeting this little business from the housetops.

It is no great affair anyhow but I am sure you will accept it as a token of

affection which will last beyond the time when you are a K.C., and in which Mildred joins to the full.

Your affect

Leonard Darwin

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Citation: John van Wyhe, ed. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (

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