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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. M. F. Ludlow   11 February 1876

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Feb: 11—76


The Controller of the Savings Bank in the Post Office has sent me the enclosed form, desiring me to fill it up & transmit it to you, saying that he hears from you “that no names are recorded by you as trustees” of the Down Friendly Soc.1 I cannot understand how this is, as within the last year, on the appointment of Mr Pearson as one of our trustees in the place of Mr Duck deceased, I wrote to you for the proper form which you were so good as to send. When this was returned I asked you to communicate with the National Debt Office, & this I presume you did, as the Commissioners did not object to the signature of Mr Pearson with reference to interest & the deposit of £120.2 The Down Friendly Soc was enrolled in 1850 and as far as I can trust my memory the names of the trustees were then communicated to the Registrar. Any how it is certain that soon afterwards the National Debt Office and the Post Office received our deposits with the signatures of myself, the Rev: J: Brodie-Innes & Mr Duck.3

I hope the enclosed paper is properly filled up, and I will give any futher information that may be required, as far as lies in my power.

I have the honour to remain | Sir | Your obedient servant | Charles R. Darwin

To | The Registrar of Friendly Socy.


Reg. No. 643

The Down Friendly Society, held at George Inn, Down in the County of Kent

Dated Eleventh day of February 1876.

To the Registrar of Friendly Societies.

At a Meeting of the said Society held at the above-named place of meeting on the 22nd day of March in the year of our Lord 1875 (the said Meeting being called pursuant to the Rules) the following Resolution was duly proposed, seconded, and carried by the requisite Majority of votes, viz: —

“That Mr. Charles Pearson Schoolmaster of Down be elected a trustee of this Society in the place of Mr G. Duck deceased be Trustees of the said Society.”

We do hereby request you to deposit this Resolution with the Rules of the said Society in your custody.

Thomas Markham William Reeves Joseph Parslow Thos. Lewis Secretary. } Members the said Society

Signatures of the Trustees elected at the said Meeting.

Each Trustee must sign his Christian and Surname, and state his Occupation and Place of Residence at full length underneath.

Charles Pearson Schoolmaster
Down Kent
Charles Robert Darwin,
no occupation, of Down, Kent
J. Brodie Innes
Clerk in Holy Orders. Milton Brodie, Forres—

The Revd. Robert Ainslie has left this parish many years and has not acted as a Trustee for years & we know not where he is4

Thos. Lewis Sec


The letter from Alexander Christie Thomson, controller of the Post Office Savings Bank, has not been found.
No previous correspondence with Ludlow has been found. For the election of Charles Pearson as a trustee of the Down Friendly Society following the death of George Francis Duck, see Correspondence vol. 23, letter to J. B. Innes, 10 May [1875]. See also letter to J. B. Innes, 7 February [1876] and n. 2.
The Down Friendly Society was registered on 27 April 1850; the registration document, which included the society’s rules, was signed by several members but the trustees were not named (The National Archives, FS 1/232, no. 643). CD and John Brodie Innes were trustees of the society, and CD was treasurer. For more on the purpose of the society and CD’s role, see Correspondence vol. 5, letter to G. H. Turnbull, 28 October [1854].
Robert Ainslie, a Methodist minister, left Down in 1858 (Correspondence vol. 7, letter to W. E. Darwin, 14 [May 1858], n. 5).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.


Writes as a trustee of the Down Friendly Society regarding difficulties over the recording of the names of the trustees.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Malcolm Forbes Ludlow
Sent from
Source of text
The National Archives (TNA) (FS 1/232, no. 643)
Physical description
4pp & Adraft 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10840,” accessed on 30 November 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 24