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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. B. Innes   7 February [1876]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. | Railway Station | Orpington. S.E.R.

Feb 7th

Dear Innes

I am sorry to trouble you; but the Registrar of Friendly Socy. seems to have got into a fine muddle & informs the Post-Office that he has no record of any Trustees for the Down Friendly Soc, although quite lately he sent me a form for Mr Pearson, which was properly filled up & returned to the Registrar who communicated with the National Debt Office.2

Nevertheless we must fill up the inclosed forms.3 Will you therefore be so good as to sign your name in the two places where I have marked with pencil. One of the signatures requires witnessing and I should think the witness had better give occupation & place of residence. Will you kindly let me have the papers back as soon as you can

Yrs very sincerely | Charles Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter, the letter to J. M. F. Ludlow, 11 February 1876, and the letter to A. C. Thomson, 11 February 1876.
The Down Friendly Society was established by CD and Innes in 1850 (see Correspondence vol. 4, letter to J. S. Henslow, 17 January [1850] and n. 6). For Charles Pearson’s election as a trustee, see Correspondence vol. 23, letter to J. B. Innes, 10 May [1875]. John Malcolm Forbes Ludlow had been appointed registrar of Friendly Societies in England in February 1875 following a five-year review after the death of the previous commissioner (DNB second supplement). Subscriptions paid by Friendly Society members were deposited with the Post Office Savings Bank and then transferred to the national debt commissioners, who paid the interest earned (ODNB s.v. Sikes, Charles William).
See enclosure to letter to J. M. F. Ludlow, 11 February 1876; the other form, which was returned to the Post Office Savings Bank, has not been found (see letter to A. C. Thomson, 11 February 1876).


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

DNB: Dictionary of national biography. Edited by Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee. 63 vols. and 2 supplements (6 vols.). London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1912. Dictionary of national biography 1912–90. Edited by H. W. C. Davis et al. 9 vols. London: Oxford University Press. 1927–96.

ODNB: Oxford dictionary of national biography: from the earliest times to the year 2000. (Revised edition.) Edited by H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. 60 vols. and index. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2004.


Sends forms to be signed so that the trustees of the Down Friendly Society may be properly registered.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Brodie Innes
Sent from
Source of text
Robert M. Stecher Collection, Historical Division, Cleveland Health Sciences Library
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10833,” accessed on 6 December 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 24