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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. B. Innes   18 June [1868]1

Milton Brodie | Forres—

18th. June—

Dear Darwin,

I am very much obliged by your letter. I shall be truly relieved when the complications about Mr Horsman are unravelled.2 I heard from him some days ago (about 4th but the letters are not dated) that he should write to the Archbishop & resign; I had told him that it was my intention to submit his conduct to the A B.3

A later note tells me he had not yet done this, speaks of present ill health, and seems to suggest, without directly proposing, a temporary arrangement with a view to his future return. To this I have answered that unless I hear this week at latest that he has himself sent in his resignation, I shall at once report to his Grace.

I go a step beyond you in my opinion of his folly, and my idea if true takes off from his culpability, that he is not quite sane. It is not a new notion but one I formed when I first saw him. I mentioned it in a talk I had with Mr Lovegrove who seemed to have seen most of him at that time,4 and which he thought was absolutely unfounded, but I really think he is mad, and if so I am sorry for him as well as for myself and the inhabitants—

When he succeeded Mr Stephens there was a balance in hand for Sunday School of £3. s11—5 I conclude he paid all to Novr. when Amy Duberry was paid—not since she tells me. If he received the Annual subscription at the End of the Year he will owe—

Balance— 3— 11—
Payment in Novr.
— if any since
£ s d
National School balance 8— 4— 10

Since then it would appear no receipts or payments—

I am inclined to think the organ must have been settled for at the time; possibly Mr. Lovegrove may know.

Mr. Horsman wrote me several letters about it. The cost was to be £145—less old organ 40. and in the letter acknowledging my subscription he says the whole amount was subscribed—14th. Sept. 67— Under the circumstances, and knowing that the price was paid by subscriptions Byceson would never have waited long for the money.6

I have an application from a Mr. Vernon diagram alin. (I fail to decipher the first letter of the surname and copy the hieroglyphic which may be P. or E or any other).7 who says he has been to Downe at Mr Horsman’s desire for a month, and wishing to continue. Do you know anything of his acceptance (as Scotch folk say).

I have not at this moment any other application, indeed I must get Horsmans matters settled before I can positively arrange, but whether for a longer or shorter time I should like to send someone who would be acceptable and make up for some of the recent neglect—

We are in sad want of rain here, and our crops of all kinds in a very bad condition— It has been a most unusual season for wind, as well as drouth   Our normal condition has been half or whole gales ever since Jan 5—

With our kind regards | Believe Me | Faithfully Yours | J Brodie Innes.


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to J. B. Innes, 15 June [1868].
Innes refers to CD’s letter to him of 15 June [1868] and to Samuel James O’Hara Horsman.
Innes refers to the archbishop of Canterbury, Charles Thomas Longley.
Charles Lovegrove was churchwarden at Down.
Thomas Sellwood Stephens was curate at Down before Horsman.
See letter to J. B. Innes, 15 June [1868]. Byceson is a misspelling for Bryceson; Bryceson Brothers & Co. were organ manufacturers.
Vernon Ealin (or Palin) has not been identified.


Further discussion of the difficulties with S. J. O’H. Horsman [curate at Down].

Letter details

Letter no.
John Brodie Innes
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Milton Brodie
Source of text
DAR 167: 17
Physical description
ALS 7pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6251,” accessed on 24 March 2023,

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