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Autographs. Charles Darwin. Fourteen ALS by Charles Darwin in a substantial and revealing collection of correspondence from the Darwin family circle, shedding much light on their financial interests and dealings, their debtors and creditors. The family members include his father, Robert, brother, Erasmus, sister, Susan Elizabeth, his wife, Emma, and her father Josiah. While Darwin's achievements as a naturalist and the originator of the theory of evolution cement him as one of the most important figures in science in the past two hundred years, this archive sheds much light on a hitherto little discussed aspect of his life.. . . . All of the correspondence is addressed to Thomas Salt and his associates. The family's relationship with the firm began with Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802). He entrusted his financial affairs with Robert Pemberton, who founded the oldest legal practice in Shropshire. The firm evolved as Pemberton's son joined and then William Coupland, and later still Thomas Farmer Dukes. In 1808, Thomas Salt joined the firm, becoming partner in 1815. . . . . Thomas Salt later established a business on his own, but from 1793 onwards, Dr Robert Darwin had consulted Salt on his dealings, including for the dispersal of his assets after his death in 1848. Robert Darwin's heirs continued to use Salt for financial matters, as did the Wedgwoods, who were related by marriage. Names mentioned in the correspondence include Lord Powis, Major Owen, Mr. Higgins, Captain Muchleton et al. . . . . Darwin, Charles: 14 Autograph Letters Signed, plus one LS, all addressed to Thomas Salt. Holograph manuscript. 8vo & 12mo. 34pp total. Some on printed stationery, old folds, some small closed tears. All very good. Down Kent, 27 July 1849 to 5 February 1868. Signed variously "C.D.", "C. Darwin", "Ch. Darwin", "Ch. R. Darwin", "Chas. R. Darwin", "Charles Darwin", and "Charles R. Darwin.". . . . ALS to T. Salt Esq. Single sheet, black border, docketed on the verso. 12mo. Old folds, small closed tear. Down Farnborough Kent, July 27th [1849]. "I received the enclosed yesterday from my Brother…". . . . ALS to T. Salt Esq. Single sheet on a bifolium, black border, docketed on the verso. 12mo. Old fold, very good indeed. Down Farnborough Kent, 19 November [1849]. "… looking out for an investment for me, & I much hope that you may succeed.". . . . ALS to T. Salt Esq. 3pp on a bifolium, docketed on the verso. 12mo. Old folds, but very good. Down Farnborough Kent, March 1847. "I must say confess I have been much tempted of having just heard that the London & Birmingham Railway Company has offered 5 per cent on Debentures…". . . . . ALS to T. Salt Esq. 4pp. Bifolium, first page black bordered. 12mo. Old folds, a little creased. Down Farnborough Kent, November 12, [1849]. "I have heard from my Brother that Lord Powis will pay off the 20,000£ mortgage by next Lady Day [25 March] … I look at absolute security of investment as more important than take of investment.". . . . . ALS to T. Salt Esq. 2pp on a bifolium, docketed on the verso. 12mo. Old folds. Down Farnborough Kent, 7 April, 1850. "I thank you sincerely for the your [?] about my Father + your very kind offer of assistance. I shall be very glad of the investment … if you say it is safe, I am only too happy to leave it the whole affair in your hands.". . . . . ALS to Mr T. Salt & Son. Single page. 12mo. Old fold, docketed on the verso. Down Farnborough Kent, 4 November, 1851.. . . . . ALS to Mr T. Salt & Son. 2pp on a bifolium, docketed on the verso. 12mo. Signed by both Darwin and Josiah Wedgwood. Down Farnborough Kent, 24 December, 1851. "The £1000 was lent under the names of my Trustees Mr J. Wedgwood & my Brother. Mr Wedgwood will append his signature to this note to show his concurrence in my request.". . . . . ALS to T. Salt Esq. ALS to T. Salt Esq. 4pp. Bifolium, first page black bordered. 12mo. Old folds, a little creased. Down Farnborough Kent, 26 December 1851. "I will request you to be so good as to give notice to executor of Capt. Muchleton, if you receive (as I anticipate) Mr Jos. Wedgwood consent.". . . . . ALS to Mr Salt & Son. 2pp on a bifolium, docketed on the verso. 8vo. Old folds, a little toned. Down Farnborough Kent, 31 January 1853. "If it lies in your power, I should be much obliged, if you could dispose pf the £600 Shrewsbury St mortgage for me in the could at the next month of two.". . . . . ALS to T. Salt. 2pp on a bifolium, docketed on the verso. 8vo. Old folds, a small open tear where the folds meet. Down Bromley Kent. 17 February 1861. "I am sorry to hear that you have been suffering from so painful a disorder…". . . . . ALS to T. Salt. 4pp. Bifolium. 8vo. Old folds, a little toned, a small closed tear. Down Bromley Kent. 9 July 1861. "You may remember that my Trustees lent Major Owen on mortgage £20,000, on August 19th 1850 for five years at 3 ¾ per cent…". . . . . ALS to T. Salt. 3pp on a bifolium, docketed on the verso. 8vo. Old folds, a little toned. Down Farnborough Kent, 12 July 1854. "I have not yet received the interest for L. Town on to £13,000 up to July 1st, but daresay I soon shall.". . . . . ALS to Mr Salt & Sons. Single sheet on printed stationery. Old folds, small hole not affecting text. Bromley Kent 16 March 1867. "When you receive the money will you be so good as to place it to my acct at the Union Bank…". . . . . ALS to Mr Salt & Sons. 3pp on a bifolium, printed stationery. 8vo. Old folds. Bromley Kent, 5 February 1868. [With:] ALS from J. Hornes to Darwin. 2pp on a single sheet 12mo. 4 February 1868. "I have received the enclosed note … Please to observe he refers to me as C. Darwin instead of C.R. Darwin.". . . . . ALS in what may be Erasmus Darwin's hand. 6 Queen Anne Street Cavendish Square London April 12, 1864. It is signed by E.A. Darwin, Ch. R. Darwin and W.E. Darwin. "We authorize and request you as Agent for Mr Childe to inform him of our wish to have the principal sum of twenty five thousand pounds now a charge on his Estates and about to be paid off, paid to the account in our joint names…". . . . Darwin Family . . . 17 ALS by members of Charles Darwin's family, including Robert Darwin, Susan Elizabeth, Erasmus Alvey, Emma, Josiah Wedgwood, and his half-uncle Francis.. . . . Dr. Robert Waring Darwin, father of Charles. Trained as a doctor, he was also a financier and surely it is through him that Charles developed an interest in financial matters, shares, property and the like. All the letters here are signed "R.W. Darwin.". . . . ALS to Charles Wizley at T. Salts Esq. Single page on a bifolium. 8vo. Old fold, a little toned, a tear from opening, red wax seal intact. [Shrewsbury] 13 July, 1841. "I have this morning had a letter from Mr Higgins to say the £2200 arrived safe one day after the other sum had been placed to his account.". . . . ALS to Mr. T. Salt. Single page on a bifolium, ink stamp, docketed on the verso. 8vo. Old folds, a small hole from opening. [Shrewsbury] 26 January, 1842.. . . . ALS to Mr. T. Salt. 2pp on a bifolium, docketed on the verso. 8vo. Old folds, poorly opened, with a hole to the blank, red wax seal intact. [Shrewsbury] 27 January, 1842. "I have not any money as I told you … & I rather wish to avoid this loan if I can with civility.". . . . ALS to Mr. T. Salt. Single page on a bifolium, ink stamp, docketed on the verso. 8vo. Old folds, poorly opened, with a hole to the blank, red wax seal intact. [Shrewsbury] 9 November, 1847. "I do not know whether it is of any consequence, but I think Charles & his wife's interest is due on the 14th of this month…". . . . Erasmus Alvey Darwin, brother of Charles.. . . ALS requesting information on the whereabout of securities, and asking for clarification on "one entry in the Account Book." 3pp on a bifolium. 12mo. Black border, a little soiled with old folds. 2 December 1848.. . . Susan Elizabeth Darwin, sister of Charles.. . . ALS on her father's behalf. 2pp on a bifolium, docketed on the verso. 12mo. Old folds, lightly toned. Np, 5 January 1846. "… the letter of Attorney is signed and executed.". . . . ALS to Thomas Salt. Single sheet with black border. Small 4to, folded for posting, hol from opening, remnants of black wax seal. Np, 23 December 1848. "I daresay you will kindly do what is right.". . . . ALS "much obliged for your note." Single sheet on a bifolium, docketed on the verso. 12mo. Old folds, finger soiled. 13 April 1858. . . . Emma Darwin, wife of Charles.. . . ALS to Mr. T. Salt enclosing a receipt. Single page on a bifolium, docketed on the verso. 12mo. Old folds, small hole from opening, clean and bright. 7 Parkhill, 16 December 1851.. . . . Josiah Wedgwood (1795-1880), brother of Emma Darwin.. . . ALS to Mr T. Salt. Single page on a bifolium, docketed on the verso. 8vo. Old folds, small hole from opening, clean and bright. Leith Hill, 3 October 1854. "I find T. Parker wishes to have the £7500 redemption money for Kensington mortgage from Ld Powis…" [With:] enclosed request authorising payment.. . . . ALS to Messers Salt & Sons. Single page on a bifolium, docketed on the verso. 8vo. Old folds, small hole from opening, a little grubby. Leith Hill, 17 October 1857.. . . . ALS asking "I hope you have received back the policy on Lady Gifford's life." 3pp on a bifolium, docketed on the verso. 8vo. Old folds, lightly soiled, but entirely legible. Np, nd, but October, 1857.. . . . ALS to G. Salt. 2pp on a bifolium, docketed on the verso. 12mo. Printed stationery, old folds, small hole from opening. 17 May, 1868. "I am about to change my banker…". . . . . ALS to "Dear Sirs" asking for the address of "the agent through whom I receive Mr Childe…" Single sheet, docketed on the verso. 12mo. Printed stationery with old folds, small hole from opening, a little grubby. Leith Hill, May 1868.. . . . Josiah Wedgwood (1769-1843), father of Emma Darwin.. . . ALS to Thomas Salt. Single page on a bifolium, docketed on the verso, ink stamp. 4to. Old folds, a little soiled, small holes from opening and remnants of red wax seal. 2 November, 1840. "I am much obliged by your letter of the 30th ult. and by your general attention to my troublesome request. I return the draft codicil … making the alterations … to my daughter Sarah Elizabeth Wedgwood for the use of my wife for her life…". . . . Francis Sacheverel Darwin, half-uncle of Charles.. . . ALS to Messers Salt & Son. 2pp on a bifolium. 8vo. Old folds, a little toned. Breadsell Priory, 6 December 1848. "I reply to yours this day received I beg to inform you that I hold a stamped Transfer of two shares in the Shropshire Council rom the late Dr Darwin to his brother…". . . . While letters by Charles Darwin do appear on the market from time to time, it is extremely rare for so cohesive an archive to become available. Photo

Charles Robert Darwin (1809-82), naturalist and geologist, grandson of the evolutionary poet and physician, Erasmus Darwin, and the potter, Josiah Wedgwood. He was expected to follow his father's into a career in medicine, but his squeamishness to anatomy and surgery, put an end to that and turned his attention to natural history. After three years in Cambridge, he was appointed to the Beagle as naturalist, an era defining event. It was on this voyage, 1831-36, that he made the observations that laid the foundation for his theory of natural selection which would not see publication until 1859 in The Origin of the Species... It is difficult to overestimate the impact of this work. Suffice to say that it remains every bit as relevant, and controversial, as it was at the time of printing.. (Estimate 15000.00 - 20000.00)
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