RECORD: [Griffith, J.] 1875. [Darwin donated £5 to the charity.] The Rector of Merthyr's Sermon on the Children's Meal. The Merthyr Telegraph (2 April).

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Christine Chua and edited by John van Wyhe 12.2019. RN1

NOTE: Introduction by Christine Chua: In 1875, Merthyr, a town north of Cardiff, Wales, suffered some hard times where near 10,000 persons went on strike. The rector, Rev. John Griffiths who served from 1858-1885, intervened and appealed for funds to start soup kitchens. It ran for fifteen weeks where an average of 4,000 children were fed.


The hundreds of letters I have received, enclosing help, are a monument of love for children. I never could have believed such a thing possible had I not the most substantial proof of it. Here it is without a mistake.

My Nonconformist brethren, and the vice chairman of the committee and myself have received now fully £2,000; and of this I have received alone nearly £1,500.

The sympathy evoked has been something wonderful. For whatever might be the feeling of the donors as to the strike, all have had but one opinion as to the children and the part they have been innocently made to take in it; they have all sent their money.

Yesterday a great man visited us, an ex-cabinet minister, one of the greatest statesman of modern times, one who has done more for the education of little children than any successor to Mr. Gladstone, I mean the Right Hon. W. E. Forster, M.P., for Bradford. So pleased was he with what he saw at the Drill Hall that he left us a cheque for £20 to carry on our expenses.

I can name also another great man who has helped us, the naturalist, Charles Darwin, and right proud am I of the letter that enclosed his £5.

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Citation: John van Wyhe, ed. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (

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