RECORD: Pritchard, Charles. 1882.04.21. Letter to George Howard Darwin. CUL-DAR215.7n. Edited by John van Wyhe (Darwin Online,

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Christine Chua and edited by John van Wyhe 11.2021. With thanks to Joachim Dagg and Anne Secord. RN3

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.

"Pritchard, Rev. Charles, 1808-93. Astronomer and educationalist. 1834-62 Founder and Headmaster of Clapham Grammar School. 1840 FRS. All CD's [surviving] sons, except William, went to Clapham Grammar School, but only George and Francis were taught by P. 1866 letter from CD in Charles Pritchard...memoirs of his life. (F2289). 1870 Savilian Prof. Astronomy Oxford University." (Paul van Helvert & John van Wyhe, Darwin: A Companion, 2021)

Darwin, C. R. 1897. [Letter to Rev. Charles Pritchard, 1866] In Pritchard, Ada ed., Charles Pritchard, D.D.; F.R.S.; F.R.A.S.; F.R.G.S., late Savilian professor of astronomy in the University of Oxford; memoirs of his life. London: Seeley and Co., pp. 93-4. F2289


[To GHD]

University Observatory


April 21/82

My dear Darwin,

If the mortal remains of your illustrious father are buried in Westminster Abbey, as they most properly might be, may I be included among those who are permitted to pay a last public tribute of respect to the memory of one whose name can never perish among civilised peoples.

I cannot forget the honor & encouragement I feel that


both he and John Herschel selected me to educate their sons.

Beyond this I may add, without exaggeration, that a very sensible portion of my intellectual happiness has been the product of your father's writings.

The astronomy of Oxford may perhaps not be an unfitting appendage in the general tribute of respect & regrets which no doubt will be paid to one of the fairest & noblest names among educated Englishmen.

I sympathize with your loss – but it is the lot of our humanity.

Believe me

Your affect[ionate]ly

C. Pritchard

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

File last updated 25 September, 2022