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The Ancestry of Francis Galton   51

induced Samuel Tertius gradually to close the bank, which was accomplished in 1831, without the majority of people knowing anything about it until nearly every account was paid off. The Galton Bank in Steelhouse Lane afterwards became the Polytechnic' Institution, later a Children's Hospital, and afterwards (1897) was the house of a medical man. It is now converted into a shop. In 1831, the Galtons' business relations with Birmingham ceased, and Samuel Tertius retired to Leamington in 1832. He had never lived at Duddeston; although he purchased the freehold of it in 1820 for £8000, and it became later a most valuable building estate. After his marriage, he lived at Ladywood, then a mile from Birmingham, and here all his children were born, except Francis who was born at the Larches (see Plate XLV), one mile from Birmingham on the Warwick Road. This house. had been Dr Priestley's, being then called Fair Hill, and it was the house burnt in the Birmingham Riots to which we have already referred ; nothing was left but one room and the laboratory over the stables'. There was a good garden and three fields, and here the children used to scamper about on the two small Welsh poniesScamper and Fenella-to which Charles Darwin refers in his letter of 1853:

"I should much like to hear something of your brothers Darwin and Erasmus I very distinctly remember a pleasant visit at the Larches, now many years ago, and having many rides with them on ponies without stirrups."

Of this visit of Charles Darwin to the Larches Mrs Wheler writes as follows in her Reminiscences

" My Uncle, Dr Robert Darwin, was a tall, very large man, weighing more than 20 stone, but wonderfully active for his size and very fond of his garden. He was extremely cheerful and agreeable, full of amusing anecdotes and considered a

very clever doctor. His son Charles was a very pleasant lad ; when about 15, he was staying with us and went out with my Father to practise shooting ; on his return we asked if he had been successful. ' Oh,' said my Father, ' the birds sat upon the tree and

laughed at him.' Some time after my Fathers and Brothers went to Shrewsbury. My Father had hardly sat down, when Charles begged, him to come out on the lawn, where he threw up a glove and hit it shooting, without missing, two or three times."

In 1824 Samuel Tertius purchased Claverdon' an estate near Warwick, which, at first a summer residence, became later almost the

' It was rebuilt and occupied by Withering the botanist.

2 It is now in possession of his grandson, Mr Edward Wheler Galton, and contains a valuable collection of Galton, Darwin and Barclay pictures and manuscripts.


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