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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. B. Innes   26 January [1871]1

Down. | Beckenham | Kent. S.E.

Jan 26

My dear Innes

I have had two very bad days & am shaken & must be very brief—; but I cannot delay thanking you heartily for all your trouble.—2 I will keep all your documents for a few weeks & then return them.— I have not heard from my solicitor, so he cannot have heard from Mr. Horsman.—3 A Q.C. with whom my son George is reading,4 tells him, he is convinced that H. could have no case, as it makes all the difference, what is said only in conversation in the same Parish in which persons reside, & I cannot remember that I ever uttered the man’s name out of this Parish.—

I read your letter aloud to my ladies,5 & they all laughed heartily, but it also excited other & higher feelings in all of us with respect to you.— By the way Henrietta exclaimed (& I can assure you she is the deepest critic I know in the world) “how unjust he is about his own sermons, why they were the only ones I ever heard in my life, to the whole of which I always listened,” I believe her words “I could not help listening to”.—

You are a bold audacious man to tell your clerical friends that your a friend to me.—

I read the other day a story of a Scotch minister who said “now let us pray for the poor devil,—for he has no friends”—or some such words—6 The application is evident—

Ever yours most sincerely | C. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from J. B. Innes, 21 January 1871.
See letter from J. B. Innes, 21 January 1871. Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242) records on 23 January 1871: ‘Ch. taken with sickness at night’.
CD’s solicitor was William Mackmurdo Hacon. CD was afraid that Samuel James O’Hara Horsman was planning to sue him; see letter to J. B. Innes, 13 January 1871.
George Howard Darwin was studying law with Charles Meaburn Tatham.
Emma Darwin, Henrietta Emma Darwin, and Elizabeth Darwin.
The reference has not been identified.


CD’s health has been poor.

Appreciates JBI’s letter and his expression of friendship.

In the opinion of a Q.C., Horsman has no case.

Letter details

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

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7455,” accessed on 20 May 2018,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 19