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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. B. Innes   18 October 1869

Down. | Beckenham | Kent. S.E.

Octr. 18 | 69

My dear Innes

I was wishing to hear some news of you, & had thought of writing, but I get so many foolish letters from foolish people, that I seldom have the heart to write to my friends.1 There is hardly any news to tell you of your old Parish.— Mr Powell has taken Mr Engleheart’s House & this I am very glad of, as he will now be able to look after the Parish & school, & I daresay he will be active & kind;2 but I rather doubt whether he is above the average in sense.— We suspect on very slight grounds that he is going to be married; for he has given notice to Amy Duberry that a Lady will soon teach in the Sunday School.— Possibly it may be Mrs Lovegrove.—3 I hear of no chance of a parsonage being built; Mr Powell wished to get up a subscription, but I doubt whether he will succeed.— I offered 20 £ which he seemed to think very small, but I shall not increase the amount; for I see no reason that the Parsonage shd cost 16 or 1700 £, as he proposes.4

Mr Engleheart’s lungs (& I fear purse also) failed him; & he is to us a fearful loss as a doctor.

I have neither seen nor heard anything of the Lubbocks for an age—but this is not true for I often hear their Harriers in the morning. Mrs. H. Lubbock finds Gorringes so dull that they intend taking a London House, & coming occasionally to the Farm for the hunting in the winter; & I suspect poor Henry Lubbock is ready to hang himself at the thought of his London life.—5

I have not seen or heard of Mr Huttons remarks on me at the Liverpool congress; & this I regret, for I suppose it is Mr Hutton, editor of the Spectator, who is a very clever man, who feels a deep interest in religion, though he wd be considered by all Churchmen as highly Latitudinarian.—6 The newspapers have lately been abusing, praising & chaffing me at a great rate.—


See letter from J. B. Innes, 15 October 1869.
CD refers to Henry Powell, the curate, and Stephen Paul Engleheart.
Amy Duberry was the Sunday-school teacher in Down (see Correspondence vol. 16, letter from J. B. Innes, 18 June [1868]). CD also refers to Henrietta Lovegrove.
For Powell’s estimate of the cost of building a parsonage, see also the letter from John Lubbock, 20 July [1869].
Henry James Lubbock and Frances Mary Lubbock were evidently living at Gorringes, a house in Down (Freeman 1978).
CD refers to Richard Holt Hutton and a paper he delivered at the Liverpool Church Congress. See letter from J. B. Innes, 15 October 1869 and n. 2.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 26 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Freeman, Richard Broke. 1978. Charles Darwin: a companion. Folkestone, Kent: William Dawson & Sons. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, Shoe String Press.


CD gets so many foolish letters from foolish people he has little heart to write to friends.

Gives Down news.

R. H. Hutton, editor of the Spectator, is a clever man.

CD has been much abused, praised, and chaffed by newspapers lately.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Brodie Innes
Sent from
Source of text
Cleveland Health Sciences Library (Robert M. Stecher collection)

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6942,” accessed on 16 October 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 17