Letters, References and Notes (1856-1874) 
Relating to Anne Marsh (Marsh Caldwell)

The following is a listing of letters, references and general notes, from 1855-1874, relating to Anne Marsh (Marsh-Caldwell) and her family.  For notes relating to other years please go to Letters, References and Notes (1780-1874).


14 February 1857.  Letter from Anne Marsh to Mrs Matilda Francis Milman, later Lady Matilda Frances Milman (nee Pretyman, 1820-1890)

My dear Mrs. Milman
The girls have been coming down every day to enquire after Dear Sir William  but the rain has made it impossible - I hope you will be able to send us a better account by my messenger and a comfortable one of you all - If the rain holds up Louisa is forced to go to her school today and tomorrow we go to church so there is no chance of getting down ourselves just at present - I hope your brother George  keeps well - I thought he looked delicate the day he was up here with Mr Milman and that all your darling little creatures are thriving.  I have such a pen I cannot write.
. . . Affectionately yours
Anne M.
Eastbury, Feb 14th
How is Maria - not . . .  . . . ? I hope 



8 March 1857.  Letter from Anne Marsh to Mr William Milman, later Sir William Milman, 3rd baronet (1813-1885).

March 8th
My dear Mr. Milman
It would be conferring a favour on me if you would dine with us upon the Friday 13th as well as upon the 12th as Mr Clarke of Swankeleys dines with us on the latest? D - and I am particularly conscious he should have a pleasant day which I know I shall secure if he meets you - I hope dear Mrs. Milman and her little jewels are thriving.
Very truly yours
Anne Marsh
12 past 7 oclock is our hour on both days




10 June 1857.  Auction details for the sale of the Eastbury Estate.

(Handwritten note)

Sold to Mr Carnegie of Stanmore, Perthshire in 1857


Particulars and Conditions of sale of that fine Residential Property, Eastbury, with the Mansion, Park, Woods and Farm comprising 314 acres of freehold land, near Watford, Hertfordshire, which will be sold by auction at the Auction Mart, London on Wednesday, the 10th day of June, 1857 at 12 o’clock, by Mr Humbert.

46 Lincolns Inn Fields

Conditions of sale will be sent as soon as they are ready.


(Handwritten note)

x- by my Mother Mrs Anne Marsh Caldwell about 54 years after my father Mr Arthur Cuthbert Marsh’s death.



The Particulars and Conditions of sale of that picturesque and compact freehold estate Eastbury, comprising an area of 314 acres of arable, pasture and wood land, well timbered and admirably situated in a favourite neighbourhood in the Parishes of Watford and Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, about 2 ½ miles from the market town of Watford, (near the town there is a first class Railway Station,) and 2 ½ miles from the Pinner and from Bushey second class Railway Station, and 15 miles from London by road, with the Capital Mansion admirably placed on a gravel soil, in a well timbered and picturesque park, sheltered by its own woods from the North and North East, commanding a view of 40 miles in extent to the South and South West; with conservatory, greenhouse, gardens, lawns and shrubberies, offices, stables, ice house, out buildings and entrance lodge, farm house and farmstead; all with early possession and fit for the immediate reception of a family of distinction; which will be sold by auction by Mr Humbert at the Auction Mart,  London on Wednesday, the tenth day of June, 1857, at 12 o’clock, by direction of the Proprietor, Mrs Marsh.

The Estate conveys all the advantages of a good neighbourhood; salubrious air, unexceptionable society; ready railway communication with the Metropolis, the North and the Midland Counties; good shooting and fishing, and easy access to the meets of Lord Dacre’s and Lord Lonsdale’s Fox Hounds and Her Majesty’s Stag Hounds; a good cheap supply of provisions; with liberal postal arrangements from its proximity to the neighbouring market town of Watford.

As a speculative purchase it is well deserving of attention; for from it proximity to the important and improving town of Watford, with its admirable railway accommodation, the Estate is almost throughout eligible for building purposes, affording most picturesque sites for the erection of first class suburban villas. N.B.A. considerable portion of the purchase money may remain in Mortgage.

May be viewed by cards only, which with all further particulars may be obtained of L.Wynne, Esq., Solicitor, 46 Lincolns Inn Fields; and of Mr. Humbert, Land Agent and Surveyor, Watford. Printed particulars with plans may also be obtained of the above, of Mr. May, Surveyor, 61 Park Street, Grosvenor Square, London; and at the Auction Mart.


Peacock & Sons, Printers, Watford.


Particulars of Eastbury.

This Estate, amongst the most picturesque in a very favourite locality, adjoins the Moor Park Estate, the seat of Lord Robert Grosvenor, M.P., and has the advantage of a neighbourhood thickly people with families of rank and distinction, with good opportunities for the gratification of a taste for Field Sports. The soil is diluvium (more  or less gravelly) on the chalk rock, at the outcrop of the sands of the plastic clay, and of easy cultivation, and the Estate yields brick earth, sand, gravel and chalk which is burnt into lime in a kiln on the Estate. There is frontage on the High Road of nearly two miles, and the Estate slopes towards the south being sheltered from the North and North East by its own woods and the Oxley Coverts adjoining whilst from the Park and several other spots a range of scenery is embraced extending full 40 miles in the distance towards the South East, including Windsor Castle and the Surrey Hills, and towards the west the County of Oxford. It comprises 314 acres of arable, pasture and wood land, all freehold, and situate within a ring fence, and consists of 181 acres of fertile pasture and park land, 75 acres of arable, chiefly light and friable, and fit for the growth of roots; and 54 acres of Woodland, natural, uncultivated and beautifully wild, affording excellent covert for game, with a good store of very thriving oak and other timber and fine plantations of Firs. The Estate consists of Eastbury Farm containing 205a. 1r. 22p., and the Farm House and Homestall, let to Mr. Caleb Eustace under lease, which will expire at Michaelmas next; and also of the Grounds attached to Eastbury the whole of which are in the occupation of the proprietor, consisting of the Mansion, Offices, Gardens and Entrance Lodge, with the Park, Woods, and Pasture Land, containing an area of 108a. 3r. 32p., and of which immediate possession can be given.


The Mansion

Which is well supplied with water from a private reservoir on the Estate is judiciously placed on a gravelly site about 200 yards from the high road, on ground sloping to the South and effectually screened from the North and North East, and is approached on the London side from the entrance Lodge by a road through the Frith Wood 40 acres in extent. The Northwood District Church is distant about a mile and a quarter by the footpath, and a mile and a half by the carriage road; there is a pew in Rickmansworth Church.


The House is convenient and spacious, has a Modern front in Suffolk Brick, with slated roof, and is entered by a Doric portico; it contains an Entrance Hal and Inner Hall; Drawing Room 28ft. x 25ft. and 11ft. 6in. high, with a commanding bow window opening (with all the windows on this, the front of the House) on the Lawn, and commanding a magnificent prospect to the South and South East. The Dining Room 26ft. x 18ft. and 11ft 6in. high. A Water Closet accessible from the Dining Room and Back Hall. The Study, which opens to the Garden by a French Window, 16ft. x 15ft.  and 10ft. 6in. high. There are two other Sitting Rooms 10ft 3in. high, one of which is 18ft. x 16ft., and the other 16ft. x 15ft. 6in. Beyond the Back Hall is the Still Room and Kitchen, and beneath is a Coal Cellar, a Larder and Dairy. Under the Drawing Room, Dining Room and Entrance Hall is the Billiard Room 26ft. x 17ft 6in., the Servants Hall 18ft. x 17ft. 6in., the Butler’s Pantry and 3 Cellars.


The principal staircase leads directly to the five best sleeping chambers.


The Bedroom with the Bay window over Drawing Room is 24ft. 9ins x 16ft. 9in. and 10ft. high, and communicates with a Room of the same height and 18ft. 6in. x 10ft.


The Sleeping Chamber over the Entrance Hall is 12ft. 6in. x 12ft., and adjoining is a Chamber 18ft. x 16ft. which communicates by a Lobby with another Room 14ft. x 11ft. and 10ft. high, a second Water Closet and a Lady’s Maid’s Sitting or Sleeping Room, five secondary Bedrooms, four Servant’s Rooms and two Lumber Rooms, making together, besides the Offices and Billiard Room and five Sitting Rooms, five best Chambers, twelve secondary Chambers, and other Rooms.


Attached is a Conservatory, a Greenhouse and conveniently place two Coachouses, two Stables with standings for seven horses, and Harness Room, Coachman’s House, Laundry, Bakehouse, Barn, Cow’s Stable, and Piggeries, all built in brick; a large timber built Granary on stone quoins, and a capital  Ice House; and Entrance Lodge occupied by the Gardner abuts on the high Road.


Besides the Lawn studded with good shrubs the Orchard, there is a capital large walled Kitchen Garden well stocked with fruit trees.


There is a Land Tax in the whole £18 18s. 4d.


N.B. It is proposed to submit the whole Estate to public competition, in one Lot, but should there chance to be no acceptable bidding for it, it will then be offered in two lots; as follows.


Lot 1

Eastbury Farm, in occupation by Mr. Caleb Eustace, whose tenancy will expire at Michaelmas next, comprising an area of 145a. 2r. 33p. of  Freehold land, 80a. 0r. 31p of pasture; 62a. 2r. 34p. of arable and 2a. 0r. 26p. Copse, with the good brick-built Dwelling House and Farmstead, admirably situated and susceptible of great improvement, and comprised in Nos.1 to 13 inclusive, as shewn on the annexed map of sale; the whole forming a compact and eligible Farm either for investment or occupation, with a most unexceptionable and very beautiful site in Cox’s Field No.8, adjoining the high road, for the erection of a resident Proprietor’s House; or for subdivision into Building Lots for Villas. Brick earth, sand and lime are close at hand.


The Lease to Mr. Eustace may be inspected at the Office of the Vendor’s Solicitor.


N.B. A considerable portion of the purchase-money may remain on the security of the Estate.


Lot 2

Eastbury, with 168a. 2r. 21p. of Park,  Pleasure Ground, Pasture and Woodland, a perfect and compact Estate, with the Offices, Stables and Lodge Entrance, as previously described, and as shewn on the annexed Plan, comprised in Nos. 14 and 34 inclusive.


The purchaser of the whole or of either is to take at a fair valuation, to be made in the usual way, by two valuers or their umpire chosen by them, all Fixtures in and about the Mansion, Offices, Buildings, and Farm including all iron hurdles on the premises; also all timber and timber-like trees, pollards and saplings, down to 1s. per stick; also all underwood and fir and other plantations, and also the labour to the fallows, the fallow crops and the seeds and sowing, &c. The whole is sold subject to any right of way which may exist.


N.B. A considerable portion of the purchase-money may remain unpaid on the security of the Estate.





2 February 1860.  The following is an extract of a letter from Harriet Martineau to Erasmus Darwin, addressed from Ambleside and dated 2nd February 1860.  The extract is a short reference to the death of Anne’s brother James Stamford Caldwell and the subsequent dispute in settling his will regarding the ownership of the Linley Wood estate.  The extract reads as follows:


… Poor Mrs Marsh!  She has not learned self-knowledge or modesty since the old days when she used to scold me for the laws of political economy, as if they were my making. – I have looked in vain for the decision on the miserable Caldwell will case.  Judgement was deferred; and I don’t see that it has been pronounced yet.  If Fanny remembers, next time she writes, I should like to know. …




11 August 1860.  Article which appeared in the Staffordshire Advertiser regarding the granting of a Royal Licence for Anne Marsh to change her name to Marsh-Caldwell in compliance with the will of her late brother James Stamford Caldwell who had died in 1858.


Staffordshire Advertiser

(11 August 1860. Page 4, Col 5)


The following notice appears in the London Gazette:-  The Queen has been pleased to grant unto Anne Marsh-Caldwell, (late Anne Marsh), of Linley Wood, in the Parish of Audley, in the county of Stafford, and of Decons in the Parish of Ewhurst, in the county of Surrey, widow, and relict of Arthur Cuthbert Marsh, late of Eastbury Park, in the county of Hertford, Esq., and second surviving daughter of James Caldwell, of Linley Wood aforesaid, Esq., and of Lincoln’s Inn, barrister-at-law, all deceased, her royal licence and authority that she may, in compliance with a proviso contained in the last will and testament, of her late brother, the said James Stamford Caldwell, Esq., continue to use the surname of Caldwell, in addition to and after that of Marsh, and that such surname of Caldwell, in addition to Marsh, and the arms of Caldwell quarterly with those of Marsh, may be taken, used and born by her issue, such arms being first being duly exemplified according to the laws of arms, and recorded in the Herald’s Office, otherwise the said royal license and permission to be void and of none effect; and also to command that the said royal concession and declaration be recorded in her Majesty’s College of Arms.






The following is a transcription of the scroll given to Anne Marsh Caldwell, 8 September 1860, when she officially took up residence at Linley Wood.  For more details and images click here.


To Mrs Marsh-Caldwell


We your tenants and the inhabitants of Talk-on-the-Hill and it neighbours bed to offer our sincere and hearty congratulations on your arrival here to take up your residence amongst us. We venture to hope that your residence at Linley Wood whose delightful situation and beautiful grounds offer so many attractions to the lovers of nature may be permanent.

From the experience that we have already had of your willingness to assist us in all good and charitable works whether in promoting the education of the young or ministering to the necessities of our poorer neighbours we feel confident that the position and means which Providence has assigned to you and the influence for good which that position gives to its possessor will always be exercised with the wisdom and discretion that has hitherto guided it to the promotion of true Religion and the encouragement of virtue and to the honor and Glory of Him to whom you in common with ourselves are indebted for all earthly prospects. We have only to add that on our part we trust that nothing may be wanting that can anyway contribute to render your residence here a source of unmixed happiness. May God have both you and your family in His Holy keeping.

Charles Eden, Gent.

M.W. Hutchins, Incumbent of Talk on the Hill

Samual Beardmore

George Barker

George Moore

James -

James Hargreaves

Samuel Taylor

Robert Mountford Arnold

John Freds

William Fryer

Edwin Fryer

Robert Ohapenary

J.V. Davenport

William Thomas

William Hancock

Joseph Whittle

James Gater

Thomas Maddock

Richard Calclough

Thomas Redfern

George Redfern

Peter Dutton

William Smith

Thomas Young

William Beckett

Sarah Barker

John Shufflebottom

Julia Barker

John Mayer

Henry Rothwell

Joseph Heath

William Fryer, Senior

John Peterborough

George Wakefield

Elijah Corbett

James Cliff

William Lowe

Joseph Hood

William Cliff

William Thomas, Snr

Thomas Beardmore

Jane Redfern

William Redfern

John Moses

Thomas Alcock

Thomas S Alcock

George Whittle

Seane Chadwick

Samuel Fryer

Thomas Skerratt

Thomas Colelough

William Warburton

Gilrain Marshall

George Jackson's mark X

Frederick Porter

Samuel Tremlow

James Barron

John Bosson

Moses Chadwick

George Bosson

John Earley's mark X

Thomas Sherwin

William Elsby

Samuel Sutton

Thomas Beresford

James Cotton

Charles Dunn

Joseph Burning

Thomas Ashbrook

Thomas Procter

William Soldbutt(?)

Hugh Caldwell


James Sutton

John Jenkinson

Samuel Dale

John Bosson

Elijah Boulton

Thomas Birks's mark X

James Higgins

Alfred Hancock

Samuel Sutton Junar

John Sutton

Elijah Bosson

James Bosson

Peter Bosson

Ralph Meyers

Joseph Ra

George Sherwin

George Hickson

James Bossan

James Wright

William Butler

Thomas Heath

Elijah Rigby

Jonathon Cotterill

Thomas Billington

George Sumner

Isaac Morris

William Davis

James Elsby

Richard Jackson

John Evans

William Young

Thomas Rigby

William (Fonnels?)

George Grainger

Sam Rigby

Thomas Poss (Pope?)

George Recgand

Thomas Rigby

Robert Rigby

John Rigby


William Seabridge

John Breeze

John (Poctor, Hoctor?)

James Fryer

George Charlesworth

William Coldough

Joshua Johnson

Elijah Ray

John Dean

Alfred Hancock.




15 September 1860.  Article which appeared in the Staffordshire Advertiser regarding the celebrations in the village of Talke, welcoming Anne Marsh-Caldwell back to the Linley Wood Estate, following the death of her brother James Stamford Caldwell in 1858.


Staffordshire Advertiser

(Saturday 15 September 1860)

Festivities at Linley Wood

There was great rejoicing at Linley Wood, near Talk-o’-th’-Hill, on Saturday last, in celebration of the taking possession of the Linley Wood Estate by Mrs Marsh-Caldwell, sister and nearest relative of the late owner.  The tenantry and friends of that great Lady have for some time been anticipating the pleasure of giving her a personnel welcome, and great was their regret to find that the severe indisposition under which she is now suffering rendered that impossible.  This will account for the absence of Mrs Marsh-Caldwell from Linley Wood on Saturday last, when about 300 persons consisting chiefly of the tenantry, a few private friends and the employees of Mr Rigby’s[1] Colliery, which is on the Estate, walked in procession from the village of Talk to Linley Wood, a distance of about half a mile, headed by the Talk Brass Band.  Five Triumphal arches were erected on the route of the procession.  The company partook of dinner, supplied with profuse liberality, in a canvas enclosure, under the Presidency of the Rev Mr Loring[2] and the Vice Presidency of Mr Eden.  After the dinner the loyal and patriotic toasts were drunk and the Rev C.P. Wilbraham, Vicar of Audley, then proposed the health of Mrs Marsh-Caldwell, expressing his own and the company’s deep regret that she was too unwell to be amongst them that day, and their united and earnest desire that she might soon be completely restored to health.  He was sure the prospect of having so kind hearted a Lady for a neighbour was a source of much gratification to all present.  The toast having been drunk with loud cheers, the chairman acknowledged the compliment on behalf of Mrs Marsh-Caldwell and read the following address from that Lady.


“As I am denied the pleasure of meeting you upon this occasion myself, I have requested Mr Loring to express for me how deeply I have felt, and how heartily I thank you for the kind and affectionate reception you have prepared for me.  I assure you my renewed sickness has occasioned me severe disappointment, and great regret at the trouble it has occasioned to you all.  I should have rejoiced at my heart to have met you all here today, but as the pleasure is denied me I can only trust that you will thoroughly enjoy yourselves, and hope that before long it may please God to allow me to appear among you.  Accept my hearty good wishes, and be assured that no efforts shall be spared on my part that can increase the happiness and prosperity of all connected with dear Linley Wood, certain that by so doing I best fulfil the wishes of the honoured father and loved brother who were before me.  The Deacons, 6th September”.


The reading of this address was followed by renewed cheering.  Several other toasts also suitable to the occasion were also drunk, after which the company enjoyed a stroll through the beautiful grounds of Linley Wood.  In the evening not less than 700 people took tea together.  The party was composed of the wives and families of the tenantry and of the work people employed on the estate, with many others from Talk-o’-th’-Hill all of whom were regaled with great liberality.  After tea dancing parties were formed, and the amusement was engaged in with spirit until 8 oclock, when the assembly quietly dispersed.  Towards close of day great piles of provisions were distributed among the crowds who thronged the gates at the entrance to the grounds.


31 Oct 1860?.  Letter from Anne Marsh to Mrs Hailes.  Probably written between 1850 and 1874.  Anne makes no mention of her husband Arthur (died 23 December 1849).  She mentions Swarcliffe Hall which is near Harrogate and was the home of John Greenwood who had been a close friend of Anne’s son Martin.  John Greenwood rebuilt Swarcliffe Hall in 1850.  Both Mr & Mrs Hailes are mentioned and so if we can identify who they were and when they died we might then be able to narrow down the date.  It is assumed that Anne used Lowndes Street as her London home after 1850.  The author Blunt is probably Rev John James Blunt (1794-1855).  Like Anne, he was born in Newcastle Under Lyne, but was 3 years younger.  He wrote a number of books including ‘Sketch of the Reformation in England’ which appears to have been first published in 1832 and ran numerous editions including a 28th edition in 1875.  Anne wrote a book ‘The Protestant Reformation in France’ published in 1847.  I have allocated a date of 31 Oct 1860.


Oct 31st
My dear Mrs Hailes
I was sorry not to see you again, but I hope whenever you or Mr Hailes come to London you will remember that we are to be found till summer at Lowndes Street, Belgrave Square.  I beg to return the books with many thanks for the use of them.  We leave Swarcliffe with great regret early tomorrow.  It is happiness in itself to see so much happiness & such bright happiness.  Pray tell Mr Hailes the more I read the more I admire Blunt.  I thank him much for introducing me to him.  I got nearly through the volume.
My kind regards & Pray believe her very truly yours
Anne Marsh.




10 November 1860.  Article which appeared in the Staffordshire Advertiser regarding the letting of some “Brick Marl” belonging to Anne Marsh-Caldwell of Linley Wood.


Staffordshire Advertiser

(10 November 1860. Page 1, Col 8)

TO BE LET, with immediate possession, a first-rate bed of BRICK MARL, also a bed of SAND, belonging to Mrs Marsh-Caldwell, Linley Wood.  The above is situated within five minutes walk of the Alsager Railway Station.  For further particulars and to treat for the same, apply to Mr Samuel Beardmore, Talk-on-the-Hill, Staffordshire.




5 January 1861.  Legal Notice, which appeared in the Staffordshire Advertiser regarding the settling of outstanding claims against the estate of James Stamford Caldwell who had died in 1858.



Pursuant to a Decree of the High Court of Chancery, made in a cause Eliza Louisa Marsh-Caldwell and others against Ann Marsh-Caldwell and others, the creditors of James Stamford Caldwell, late of Linley Wood, in the Parish of Audley, in the County of Stafford, Esquire, who died in or about the month of November 1858, are by their solicitors, on or before the 20th day of January, 1861, to come in and prove their debts at the chambers of the Vice Chancellor Wood, at No 11, New Square, Lincoln’s Inn, Middlesex, or in default there of they will be peremptorily excluded from the benefit of the said decree.

Monday, the 28th day of January, 1861, at 12 o’clock noon, at the said Chambers, is appointed for hearing and adjudicating upon the claims.

Dated this 20 day of December 1860. Henry Leman, Chief Clerk, Clowes Hickley and Keary.  10 Kings Walk, Temple.  Agents for Keary & Sheppard, Stoke-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, Plaintiffs Solicitors.




27 June 1862.  A letter from Garcin de Tassy to Anne Marsh Caldwell noting his appreciation of her work.  This is possibly Joseph Héliodore Sagesse Vertu Garcin de Tassy (1794-1878) the French orientalist.  The letter reads:


Versailles 19 Rue des réservoirs
June 27th 1862
Dear Madame
Must I apologise for writing to you?  But I cannot help not to do so.  Let me then explain to you the reason.
My wife & I are, as usual, in summer, at Versailles where we generally spend about three months.  A Miss Danlion daughter of a General has let this year, as well as last year, to us her apartment being in a watering place and, as she is most learned & knowing with the English and German language, she has a good library in which I have found among many other good books ‘Lettice Arnold’ by the author of ‘Emilia Wyndham’.  Directly I took it and I read it with the utmost delight.  It appears to me truly a “chef d’ceuvr”.  It is so interesting, so beautifully written, so much interpreted with excellent hints, so a faithful picture of the good manners of old England which I like so much, so edifying, for it is better than the best sermon.  How many times have I wept reading those admirable pages!  How much probable are your writings, & . . . other English novels of the same kind to our infamous, as you say rightly French novels, unfortunately translated into English to corrupt your good youth, like ours.
I have also read with pleasure some of your quotations & even I have copied one which probably I shall have the opportunity of quoting in my next speech.
Accept then I pray my best and very sincere compliment upon so capital a writing.  Probably you have a Lettice in your family.
This year I have not in Versailles any English or American acquaintances but in Paris I continue to have many.  As for good Mrs Walsh I went to pay to her a visit before leaving Paris, but I did not find her at home & I was told that she is in a watering place.  In some weeks time I shall not fail to call at her house in order to get news about her.
If ever I am able to be serviceable either to you or to your friends you may depend upon me, dear Madame, and in the mean time believe me
Most respectfully & faithfully yours
Garcin de Tassy.




27 Nov 1866.  Letter from Anne Marsh-Caldwell to Charles Darwin (1809-1882).  The year is not recorded but is probably 1866. The original of this letter is held in the University Library, Cambridge (DAR 171:41).  The letter reads as follows:


Linley Wood

Near Lawton


Nov 27

My dear Mr Darwin

I long to say my dear Charles, but cannot venture upon that liberty with so renowned a man.  Rosamond[3] is at present staying with the Corbets, at the nice place they have taken near Oxford, and she has just written to ask


me by Mr Corbet’s desire to write to you.  He is the blind Mr Corbet, who is I believe an acquaintance of yours, but anyhow he has sent to ask me to write, and as one never denies that dear Mr Corbet anything, I trouble you with this.  He has been troubled now for more than a year, with poor health.  Nothing very important the matter, I believe.  Only just the destruction of all his comfort


from constant … …  Lots of sleeplessness, depression of spirit, dislike to mental exertion.  Even a … of these Scientific and intellectual conversations in which he used to take all his delights, in short everyone who has been thoroughly out of order knows the whole hound dragons of such a state.  Hearing from Rosamond what diet has done for you, in which all to your most distant friends so heartily rejoice, he has desired her, “to ask if you would mind to Mr Charles Darwin to ask what was the diet he …  He is an old friend of Mr Corbets but they have not corresponded


for some years.  He would be glad if you would tell him.  He has often thought of his old friend and felt for his sufferings.  I have told Mrs Corbet how much better Mr Darwin has been for diet and he is anxious to know the particulars.  I am convinced a great part of his miserable feelings arise from his inattention to these matters.  Poor man he suffers very much.  If Mr Darwin or Mrs Darwin would write to him straight, he would be very glad, and would like so much to hear from his old friend.”  So far Rosamond, and if your or Mrs Darwin would be so


kind as to write direct to him, I am sure that the letter would be a great gratification, as well as far more likely to have its due effect.  I most beg of you not to give one moment of your precious strength to acknowledge this letter.  I have just heard from Elizabeth W


how well you are and heartily heartily rejoice.  Kindest love to Emma (Mrs Darwin)[4] I mean.  I did so grieve to lose my own share, in sweetest Susan[5], but they go away so sadly fast, those I loved in early happy days.  Always believe me to be very truly yours

Anne Marsh-Caldwell.




1 December 1866.  Letter from Charles Darwin to Anne Marsh-Caldwell. The year is not recorded but is probably 1866.  The original of this letter is held by the Library of the American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia (Darwin C ALS N3787).  The letter reads as follows:


Down … Kent

Dec 1

My dear Mrs Marsh-Caldwell

Your very kind note has pleased me much.  I would have answered it sooner, but there has been some delay, owing to our return yesterday from London, where we have been staying with


Erasmus who is … … moderately well.  I am ashamed to say that I forget the Christian name of Mr Corbet; nor do I know his address; so will you be so kind as to direct the enclosed note for him.


I have given him all the information which I could, but it is worse than useless to try … … chance experiments in diet.  Emma has brought back a cold from London and is in bed, other wise she would have


written and sent a note better worth receiving than this.  Pray believe me my dear Mrs Marsh-Caldwell yours very sincerely

Ch. Darwin.


[1] William Rigby of the Bunkers Hill Colliery.

[2] Rev Edward Henry Loring (1823?-1879) who had married, in 1853, Hannah-Adelaide Marsh (1829?-1859).  Hannah was Anne Marsh-Caldwell’s youngest daughter.

[3] Rosamond Jane Marsh-Caldwell (1823-1911), Anne Marsh-Caldwell’s daughter.

[4] Emma Darwin (nee Wedgwood, 1808-1896).

[5] Susan Darwin (1803-1866), Charles Darwin’s sister who had presumably recently died.








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