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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. B. Innes   20 January [1868]1

Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.

Jan 20

Dear Innes

I received your cheque safely yesterday & transmitted cash for it to Mr Horsman.2 As I found it troublesome keeping the money & accounts of the Coal & Friendly Clubs & of the School I handed the accounts of the latter over to Mr Horsman—3

I am much obliged to you for sending me your Sermon together with the account of the decoration of the Church.4 You would have been pleased & wd have admired our church this Christmas as it was ornamented with great taste. We are all pretty well in this house & every thing goes on in the usual jog trot style. The only piece of news that I think of is that Mr Phillips had an apoplectic seizure some weeks ago but is recovering.5 My sister in law Miss Wedgwood is thinking of purchasing Tromer Lodge, but that house nourishes a bad lot & the present owner seems to be both a rogue & a fool & says that his valuer fixed £7000 as the price & he is so moderate as to ask only £5000.6 He added that he had been thinking of making a road with villas each side from his house to the Crystal Palace.7 My second son George has just passed his exam. at Cambridge & we hope in the Times next Sat. to see his name amongst the wranglers.8

Pray give our united very kind remembrances to Mrs Innes9 & believe me dear Innes | yours very sincerely | Charles Darwin

Henrietta after reading your letters declares she will attend at the school.10 She has been but poorly for the last few weeks—


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from J. B. Innes, 16 January 1868.
Samuel James O’Hara Horsman was curate of Down in 1867 and part of 1868.
See letter from J. B. Innes, 16 January 1868 and n. 1. CD was treasurer of the Down Coal and Clothing Club and of the Down Friendly Club; on CD’s involvement in local charities, see Moore 1985.
Innes was priest in charge of Milton Brodie Mission, near Forres, Scotland. The items sent by Innes have not been found in the Darwin Archive–CUL.
CD refers to William Waker Phillips; he had been a subscriber to the National School in Down and to the Down Friendly Club (Correspondence vol. 7, letters to John Lubbock, 14 December [1859] and 17 December [1859]).
CD refers to Sarah Elizabeth Wedgwood. Tromer Lodge was in the centre of Down village, about one mile from Down House (1868–9 25" Ordnance Survey map of Kent). The property had been purchased in 1862 by Robert Haswell. Innes had tried to acquire the property in 1860 as a parsonage. See Correspondence vol. 8, letter to J. B. Innes, 18 July [1860] and n. 4, and Correspondence vol. 10, letter to J. B. Innes, 22 December [1862] and n. 8.
The Crystal Palace, an exhibition site and public park, was in Sydenham, Kent, about eight miles from Down (Post Office directory of the six home counties 1866).
George Howard Darwin was ‘second wrangler’ at Cambridge in 1868, that is, he was second in the final examination for the mathematical tripos (Cambridge University calendar 1868). An announcement appeared in The Times, 25 January 1868, p. 6.


Cambridge University calendar: The Cambridge University calendar. Cambridge: W. Page [and others]. 1796–1950.

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

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.


CD thanks JBI for contribution to Down school.

George [Darwin] has passed his examination at Cambridge;

Henrietta has been poorly.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Brodie Innes
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.)
Physical description
LS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5792,” accessed on 26 March 2023,

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