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Letter 4357

Innes, J. B. to Darwin, C. R.

17 Dec [1863]

    Summary Add

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    Suggests a new school for CD's son [Horace].

Transcription

Milton Brodie

17th Decr.

Dear Darwin,

I sent this to Malvern duly and you see the fate it has met with. I send it off again as I write so little it is a pity to lose what I do—

And as you are in some perplexity about your son let me tell you that the Revd. I Gresson who is a most charming fellow, and who I hear has a very nice sister is just starting a small establishment for young boys before they go to public schools at Worthing. You will know all about the sanitary condition of Worthing. If you want such a place it may be worth while to ask about this   I can answer for Gresson being a most agreeable man with boys, as well as grown folk   He has been second master at Bradfield for many years and Stevens can you more about him.

Our best regards | Faithfully yours | J Brodie Innes.

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 4357.f1
    The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to J. B. Innes, 1 September [1863].
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    f2 4357.f2
    CD underwent treatment at James Smith Ayerst's hydropathic establishment in Malvern Wells, Worcestershire, between 3 September and 12 or 13 October 1863 (see `Journal' (Correspondence vol. 11, Appendix II)). Innes presumably refers to his letter to CD of 4 September [1863], which was apparently returned to Innes from Malvern after some delay and sent to CD with this letter.
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    f3 4357.f3
    See letter to J. B. Innes, 1 September [1863] and n. 3. The reference is to Horace Darwin, whose ill health had led to the interruption of his education with the Reverend George Varenne Reed in January 1863 (see letter from G. V. Reed, 12 January 1863). Horace resumed his studies with Reed in April 1864 (CD's classed account books (Down House MS)). See also Correspondence vol. 12, letter from G. V. Reed, 15 August 1864.
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    f4 4357.f4
    Innes refers to John George Gresson, who was a master at St Andrew's College, Bradfield, Berkshire (see n. 6, below). Gresson's sister has not been further identified. Gresson opened West Mansion Preparatory School at Heene, Worthing, Sussex, in 1864 (Clergy list 1863--90, Crockford's clerical directory 1889). This was one of many private educational establishments opened up in seaside resorts in Sussex during the second half of the nineteenth century (Walton 1983, p. 97).
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    f5 4357.f5
    Worthing, in common with many other seaside towns, was a popular place of resort for convalescents (see Walton 1983, p. 109, N. Wood 1912, p. 161). However, Innes may be alluding to CD's possible knowledge of Edward Cresy's report to the General Board of Health on the sanitary condition of Worthing (Cresy 1850); Cresy was a surveyor and civil engineer, and CD's neighbour. CD had assisted Cresy in obtaining the appointment of superintending inspector to the General Board of Health in 1848 (see Correspondence vol. 4). CD had also received some information about Worthing from Joseph Dalton Hooker, who stayed there with his wife Frances Harriet Hooker in 1861 (see Correspondence vol. 9, letter to J. D. Hooker, 13 July [1861]).
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    f6 4357.f6
    St Andrew's College, Bradfield, Berkshire, was a private school founded for the education of sons of clergymen and gentlemen (Blackie 1976, p. 1). Gresson had been a master at St Andrew's College since 1855 (see Crockford's clerical directory 1889, and Blackie 1976, p. 37). Thomas Stevens was the Warden of St Andrew's College (Blackie 1976, p. 225).
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