Charles Darwin & Downe

Historical notes

Charles Darwin lived the last 40 years of his life in the village of Downe at Down House. During his time in the village he published the Origin of the Species which, apart from the public acclaim he received, also brought him into conflict with the Church.

There is much that is written about Darwin elsewhere, and there are various links below that will take you to other sites relating to him and to Down House.

However, it is interesting to note that he was a man of Downe village who also had contact with St. Mary's Church - at least up to the time the Origin of the Species was published. (Mind you, it is difficult to know whether it was Darwin's writings and beliefs or a particularly unpleasant vicar called Ffinden that drove him away from the church!)

In fact, in the Vestry minutes of St. Mary's Church, there are a number of references to Charles Darwin, and to his butler, Joseph Parslow, who continued to remain involved with church matters for over 20 years until after Darwin's death in 1882.

Click here to read excerpts from the Vestry Minutes of St. Mary's Church from 1844-1882

External links relating to Charles Darwin