skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

From John Lubbock   20 July [1869]1

15, Lombard Street, E.C.

20 July

Dear Mr. Darwin

Mr Powell has asked me to subscribe to build him a house at Down & I feel rather in a difficulty.2

It seems that about £1700 is required. The Ecclesiastical Commissioner would give £700, he thinks he could get £290 from the Queen Anne’s Bounty Fund, £150 from a building society, & his own friends would do something.3

What do you think about it?

Believe me | yours most sincerely | John Lubbock

C Darwin Esq | &c &c &c


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to John Lubbock, 3 August 1869.
Henry Powell became vicar of Down sometime earlier in the year. John Brodie Innes, the former vicar of Down, had encouraged the curate, John Warburton Robinson, to resign in December 1868 (see Correspondence vol. 16, letter from J. B. Innes, 4 December 1868).
The Ecclesiastical Commissioners administered church revenues; a common fund instituted in 1850 gave grants for new parsonages. Queen Anne’s Bounty was a fund that loaned money for building and mortgages (Church dictionary). The lack of a suitable parsonage was cited by John Brodie Innes as the principal cause for failing to find or retain suitable candidates for the curacy of Down (see Correspondence vol. 16, letter from J. B. Innes, 4 December 1868).


Church dictionary: A church dictionary. Edited by Walter Farquhar Hook and William Richard Wood Stephens. 14th edition. London: Murray. 1887.

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.


Has been asked by Henry Powell [new vicar of Down] for help to build a house at Down; asks for CD’s advice.

Letter details

Letter no.
John Lubbock, 4th baronet and 1st Baron Avebury
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Lombard St, 15
Source of text
DAR 170: 74
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6838,” accessed on 20 June 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 17