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Darwin Correspondence Project

From G. S. Ffinden to Emma Darwin   24 December 1873

Dec: 24. 1873.



I am requested by the School Committee to state that in answer to Mr. Darwin’s application permission is given for the use of the Infant schoolroom only adjoining Widow Laslett’s residence during the months of Jany. Feby. & March next for a Reading room.1 Against this I protest most strongly on public grounds. I learnt at the Meeting that Mr. Darwin had addressed the Education Department on the subject. As I am the only recognized correspondent of the School, according to rule 15. Code 1871,2 I deem such a proceeding quite out of order, especially as I myself had undertaken to communicate with the Office. For your information I now append, a Copy of the answer I received, which is, in my opinion, by no means favorable to your view of the case.3

I have only to add that there are several misstatements in the letters read at the meeting.

I am Madam, | Yr obedt. Servt, | G.S.F.

Mrs. C. R. Darwin.


See letter to Down School Board, 19 December 1873. CD had written in lieu of attending the meeting. Hannah Laslett was the schoolmistress.
Ffinden refers to the Revised New Code (1871) of the Elementary Education Act, 33 & 34 Vict., chap. 75.
The enclosure has not been found.


Answers Emma Darwin’s request that the school room be used in the winter as a Reading Room. Protests the Darwins approaching the Education Department directly.

Letter details

Letter no.
George Sketchley Ffinden
Emma Wedgwood/Emma Darwin
Source of text
Bromley Historic Collections, Bromley Central Library (P/123/25/3/5)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9189F,” accessed on 28 September 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 21