The Life and Letters of Darwin, Volume 2
Appendix I. The Funeral In Westminster Abbey
On the Friday succeeding my father's death, the following letter, signed by twenty
members of Parliament, was addressed to Dr. Bradley, Dean of Westminster:--
HOUSE OF COMMONS, April 21, 1882.
Very Rev. Sir,
We hope you will not think we are taking a liberty if we venture to suggest that it would
be acceptable to a very large number of our fellow-countrymen of all classes and
opinions that our illustrious countryman, Mr. Darwin, should be buried in Westminster
We remain, your obedient servants,
NEVIL STOREY MASKELYNE,
CHARLES W. DILKE,
RICHARD B. MARTIN,
FRANCIS W. BUXTON,
The Dean was abroad at the time, and telegraphed his cordial acquiescence.
The family had desired that my father should be buried at Down: with regard to their
wishes, Sir John Lubbock wrote:--
HOUSE OF COMMONS, April 25, 1882.
My dear Darwin,
I quite sympathise with your feeling, and personally I should greatly have preferred that
your father should have rested in Down amongst us all. It is, I am sure, quite understood
that the initiative was not taken by you. Still, from a national point of view, it is clearly