RECORD: Innes, John Brodie. 1882.04.22. Letter to Francis Darwin. CUL-DAR215.8b. Edited by John van Wyhe (Darwin Online,

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Christine Chua and edited by John van Wyhe 11.2021. Corrections by Anne Secord 4.2022. RN2

NOTE: See record in the Darwin Online manuscript catalogue, enter its Identifier here. Reproduced with permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library and William Huxley Darwin.

"Innes, Rev. John Brodie, 1817-94. Trinity College, Oxford, 1835 BA. 1839 MA. 1842. Letters to and from CD edited by R.M. Stecher, The Darwin-Innes letters. The correspondence of an evolutionist with his vicar, 1848-84. Annals Sci., 17: pp. 201-58, 1961 (F1597). They contain a lot of information about people at Down not contained in other sources. 1842 Curate of Farnborough, Kent. 1846-c.60 Perpetual curate of Down c.1860-69 Vicar of Down. 1859 CD sent 1st edn of Origin. CD said to Innes, "I do not attack Moses, and I think Moses can take care of himself ". LL2:288. 1869 Innes retired to his ancestral home Milton Brodie, Forres, which he had inherited. In this year he also added "Brodie" to his name. Until 1871 Down was served by curates until George Skertchley Ffinden became vicar in 1871. 1871 "Brodie Innes and I have been fast friends for thirty years, and we have never thoroughly agreed on any subject but once, and then we stared hard at each other, and thought one of us must be very ill". 1882 Innes was on "Personal Friends invited" list for CD's funeral. In 1851 Jul. 15, ED wrote in her diary, "Innes dined". Later on until 1879, I and his family were often invited to dine. Last record in ED's diary was about her writing to Mrs Innes in 1894 Oct. 24. Recollections of CD in DAR112.B85-B92 and DAR112.A65-A66, both transcribed in Darwin Online.

Ffinden, Rev. George Sketchley, 1836?-1911. Anglican priest. King's College, London; Assoc. (1st class) 1859; ordained deacon 1860; ordained priest 1861. 2 Nov. 1871-1911 vicar of Down, he was generally disliked. Olive Willis described him as "that wicked man". Atkins 1976, p. 48. 1872 Jan. 6 & Sept. 16 dined at the Darwins. ED's diary. Between 1872-95, there were many visits either way. George Darwin in 1874 Oct. 18 writing to CD, referred to the "Ffinden affair is all moonshine". 1896 Mrs Ffinden is mentioned with nursemaid and baby in an elegant goat-carriage. Emma Darwin, 1904, 2:465. Interview in Anon. 1909. A visit to Darwin's village: reminiscences of some of his humble friends. Evening News (12 Feb.): 4: "'[CD] lived in such retirement that though I was here for eleven years before he died I hardly saw him half a dozen times, and then chiefly about affairs of business.' I gathered from Mr. Ffinden that Darwin's beliefs and theories find less than favour in his eyes. 'I confess that, perhaps, I am a bit sour over Darwin and his works. You see, I'm a Churchman first and foremost. He never came to church, and it was such a bad business for the parish, a bad example. He was, however, most amiable and benevolent and courteous, and very liberal. I remember his giving me a subscription for the church and the house—restoration or building. 'Of course,' he told me, 'I don't believe in this at all.'" Memorial in Downe church." (Paul van Helvert & John van Wyhe, Darwin: A Companion, 2021)



Junior Carlton Club

22nd April 1882

My dear Darwin,

The announcement of your dear Father's death was indeed a sad blow to me on my arrival. Out of our own family there was no one so beloved by my wife and me.

It is possible, under the circumstances of


the Parish, that you might like me, rather than Mr. Ffinden, to take the funeral service on Tuesday; that is unless you have any other friend in orders whom you prefer for any reason. I have no doubt Ffinden would permit me. I say this entirely as a suggestion only, for you to use exactly as best suits your own views.

I will put in a line to Ffinden which you can send to him or burn.

I shall be up here on Monday, and if I hear from you I shall go


down on Tuesday morning, or any other day. Should you make other arrangements I need not trouble you to write, and shall think of you all with the deepest sympathy.

Believe me faithfully yours

Brodie Innes

Many thanks for your most kind letter which I have just received before writing this.

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

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