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Darwin Correspondence Project

From John Brodie Innes   16 January 1868

Milton Brodie | Forres | N.B.

16th. Jany 1868—

Dear Darwin,

I left you treasurer of the School, and hope you are still in office. I enclose cheque for my subscription for this year.1

I hope Miss Darwin has carried out her laudable intention of giving some assistance in the Downe School.2 A lady’s presence is valuable in many ways. They teach so nicely are so patient and their very presence has such a civilizing effect on savage boys. Mrs. Innes3 poor lady did what she could while at Downe and possibly I was enough of an old woman to approximate to the other sex by natural selection

I hope Miss Etty may more than supply the lady’s place without any variation from her own place in creation.

If you want mild weather you should come here instead of going to cold southern regions. We have had no snow, and the young folk are crying out there is no skating. I had a lot over here on Saturday last to disport themselves on a shallow piece of water, as no deep waters would bear. It rained before they left and we have had quite mild weather and occasional rain since

Mrs. Innes joins me in kindest regards to you and Mrs. Darwin and your family

Believe me Dear Darwin | Yours faithfully | J Brodie Innes.


When Innes left Down in 1862 to take up residence in Scotland, CD became treasurer of the National School for boys, which was supported by subscription (Post Office directory of the six home counties 1866; Moore 1985, p. 469).
The reference is to Henrietta Emma Darwin.
Eliza Mary Brodie Innes.


Moore, James Richard. 1985. Darwin of Down: the evolutionist as squarson-naturalist. In The Darwinian heritage, edited by David Kohn. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press in association with Nova Pacifica (Wellington, NZ).

Post Office directory of the six home counties: Post Office directory of the six home counties, viz., Essex, Herts, Kent, Middlesex, Surrey and Sussex. London: W. Kelly & Co. 1845–78.


Sends school subscription to CD as treasurer. Hopes Henrietta will assist in teaching there.

Letter details

Letter no.
John Brodie Innes
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Milton Brodie
Source of text
DAR 167: 14
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5791,” accessed on 5 April 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 16