RECORD: Litchfield, H. E. 10.1873. [Recollections on Darwin becoming a parson]. CUL-DAR262.23.11 (Darwin Online,

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Kees Rookmaaker 5.2006 and revised 10.2006, edited by John van Wyhe. RN3

NOTE: The document has 1 sheet, folded in the middle to form four pages. The reverse of the first page is blank. The pages are not numbered by the author. The text is mostly written in ink.

Editorial symbols used in the transcription:
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Reproduced with the permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library and William Huxley Darwin.


All in autobiogry

My Father's studying to be a doctor parson told Oct 1873

After giving up medicine as a profession my F[ather]. thought of taking to be a parson - or rather it was thought of for him. - He says it was difficult enough for him even then to drill his reason into accepting the doctrines of the church, although he was at that time & for some time after quite orthodox.

[2] [blank]


He studied it, however, & read some divinity. He took great pleasure in getting up Paley's Evidences of Christianity.1 He thought it the most splendid piece of reasoning & believes that no man ever got it up more thoroughly. Indeed he often says that it is the only education worth anything that he ever had at Cambridge


He also studied no X2 in the Creeds - but he had to repeat very often "I believe in the Bible now X proves the Creeds to be true from the Bible, therefore they must be true."

1 William Paley (1743-1805), A view of the evidences of Christianity. 1794.

2 X = Pearson, An exposition of the creed. The edition read by Darwin is not known.

All in autobiogry] in pencil.

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

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