RECORD: Lubbock, John. 1882.04.20. Letter to Francis Darwin. CUL-DAR215.10n. Edited by John van Wyhe (Darwin Online,

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Christine Chua and edited by John van Wyhe 11.2021. RN1

NOTE: See record in the Darwin Online manuscript catalogue, enter its Identifier here. Reproduced with permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library and William Huxley Darwin.

"Lubbock, Sir John, Bart, 1834 Apr. 30-1913 May 28. First child of Sir John William L. Statesman, banker and man of science. Home: High Elms near Down. L was the closest of CD's younger friends and frequent visitor to Down House from childhood. CD discussed evolution with before Origin. Biography: Hutchinson, Life of Lord Avebury, 2 vols., 1914. 1856 Married 1 Ellen Frances Hordern. 3 sons, 3 daughters: 1. Constance Mary, 2. Gertrude, 3. Amy Harriet, 4. John Birkbeck, 5. Norman, 6. Rolfe Arthur. 1853 His first scientific paper was in Annals and Mag. of Nat. Hist. describing Labidocera darwinii, a calanid copepod, from material lent by CD. "How on earth you find time is a mystery to me." CD to L in Hutchinson, I, p. 176. Social calls between the families were recorded in ED's diary starting with an entry in 1848 Dec. 27 "dance at Lubbocks". There were balls, lunches and dinners. 1853, 1855 published descriptions of CD's specimens of crustaceans and copepods. 1858 FRS. 1859 CD sent 1st edn of Origin. 1865 4th Bart. 1865 CD to Hooker, "Many men can make fair M.P.s, & how few can work in Science like him." CCD13:210. 1870-80 MP for Maidstone. 1880-1900 MP for London University. 1882 L suggested Westminster Abbey funeral for CD and organized memorial to the Dean. Served as a Pallbearer. 1884 Married 2 Alice Augusta Laurentia Lane Fox. 3 sons, 2 daughters. 1. Ursula, 2. Irene, 3. Harold Fox Pitt, 4. Eric Fox Pitt, 5. Maurice Fox Pitt. 1900 1st Baron Avebury. Account of interactions with CD in Duff, The lifework of Lord Avebury, 1924, transcribed in Darwin Online. A microscope given to L by CD is now at Down House." (Paul van Helvert & John van Wyhe, Darwin: A Companion, 2021)


20 April 1882

My dear Frank

I cannot resist writing to express to you all my great grief.

I say nothing about the loss to Science for all feeling of that kind is


swallowed up by my sorrow that I shall never see him again.

For thirty years & more your father has been one of my kindest & best friends & I cannot say how I shall miss him.

Out of his immediate family no one will mourn his loss or cherish his memory more than I shall.

I have just come from the Linnean when we adjourned as a small tribute of respect.

Please express my sympathy in which my daughters join to your mother & all at


Down, believe me

Yours most sincerely

John Lubbock

Pray do not think of answering this.

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

File last updated 7 December, 2022