skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. B. Innes   5 June 1871

Blessington House | Lee Kent

June 5th. 1871—

Dear Darwin,

Your kind letter has made a round by Milton and back here.1 I am only in Town for a very few days on business, and have left the wife2 at home. She writes me she has put up Horsman’s documents safely and you shall have them again if wanted.3 After I sent them to you I found the one from Hale at the time Horsman was in prison, saying the Chaplain doubted his sanity.4

I have not heard lately from Powell.5 He had an idea, some time back, of exchanging with one Mr. Ffinden, which required my consent.6 I gave it, rather unwillingly, first because the transaction between Mr. Ffinden and Mr Gilman,7 the patron of the living he was to get, did not quite approve itself to me; and because, though I heard all good of Mr. Ffinden’s moral character, his clerical ability was not stated as very high; he had however capital testimonials to his wife’s8 qualifications, and I consented, but it fell through, and as I do not choose to have Downe hawked about, I do not consent again and I suppose Mr Powell will stay till he gets something better.—

I should have liked to get a day to see you but fear I shall not manage it, as I have more places to go to than days to go in. I leave this I think this afternoon for Berks. Knight Bruce9 is down north of me at a fishing at Durness and says he is to look me up on his way South

I expect Johnny from Cambr today10 and suppose we shall go North together soon

With kind regards to you all Believe me | Faithfully yours | J Brodie Innes


See letter to J. B. Innes, 29 May [1871]. Innes refers to his home in Milton Brodie, Scotland.
CD had returned documents relating to Samuel James O’Hara Horsman (see letter to J. B. Innes, 29 May [1871] and n. 7).
Hale, whether a place or a person, has not been identified, and nothing further is known about Horsman’s time in prison.
Henry Powell was vicar of Down from 1869 to 1871.
George Sketchley Ffinden was vicar of Down from 1871 to 1911; Innes had been vicar and was still patron of the living (see letter from J. B. Innes, 21 January 1871 and n. 2).
Frances M. Ffinden.
Lewis Bruce Knight Bruce had lived near Down until 1859 and was a friend of CD’s.
John William Brodie Innes was at St John’s College, Cambridge (Alum. Cantab.).


Alum. Cantab.: Alumni Cantabrigienses. A biographical list of all known students, graduates and holders of office at the University of Cambridge, from the earliest times to 1900. Compiled by John Venn and J. A. Venn. 10 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1922–54.


On Down parish matters.

Letter details

Letter no.
John Brodie Innes
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Lee, Kent
Source of text
DAR 167: 30
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7801,” accessed on 29 January 2023,

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