George Varenne Reed (1814-1886)

.. was Curate of Tingewick from 1839 to 1854. He then took up the post of Rector to Hayes, Kent where he remained until his death in 1886. While there he was also tutor to the sons of Charles Darwin.

Contributed by Sue Reed

from Venn's Alumni Cantabrigiensis

REED, GEORGE VARENNE Adm. pens. (age 17) at JESUS, Apr 22, 1833. S. of the Rev. John Theodore, deceased (R. of Leckhampstead, Bucks.). B. at Leckhampstead. School, private. Matric. Michs. 1833; B.A. 1837; M.A. 1840. Ord. deacon, 1837; priest, 1838; C. of Hayes, Kent, 1837-9. C. of Tingewick, Bucks., 1839-54. R. of Hayes, 1854-86. Died Dec 27, 1886 (Crockford; Canon H.P. Thompson; The Guardian, Dec. 29, 1886.)

28 THE BROMLEY RECORD [Feb 1, 1887.



In our last issue it was our painful duty to announce the death on the 27th December, in his 73rd year, of the Rev. George Varenne Reed, M.A., Jesus College, Cambridge, Rural Dean of the West Dartford Deanery, and Rector of Hayes. Mr Reed was the son of the Rev. J.T. Archibald Reed, Rector of Lekhamstead, Bucks, and Anna Maria, his wife, daughter of Henry Dayrell, Esq., R.N., of Lillingstone Dayrell, in the County of Bucks. He was born at Leckhamsted on the 10th of June 1814. Having taken his degree at Cambridge, Mr. Reed was ordained deacon by Archbishop Howley and was licensed to his first curacy at Hayes just fifty years ago. On leaving Hayes he was appointed Curate in charge of Tingewick, near Buckingham, and was ordained priest by the Bishop of Lincoln. In this charge he remained for 15 years until his return to Hayes as Rector on being presented to that living by the late Archbishop Sumner nearly thirty-tree years since. For tha last two years it was known to the Rector's friends that he was suffering from a serous affection of the heart, which caused then grave anxiety; but although the attacks were more frequent and severe since the beginning of November he was able to transact a great portion of his ruri-deanal and parochial business until within a few days of his death, it having been only on the Wednesday before Christmas, when the disease assumed a very dangerous form, that he was compelled to keep his bed. Throughout his illness Mr Reed was attended by Dr. Herbert Hott.

By the Rector's death, the parishioners of Hayes, his brother clergy, and indeed all who were privileged to know him, have lost a valued friend. His friendly sympathy and kindly nature made him many friends. To say that he was a man greatly esteemed by his parishioners and neighbours but faintly expresses the real attachment which subsisted between their Rector and the people of Hayes. Since his appointment it may truly be said that there was no good work in the parish in which the Rector did not take a leading part.

During the 33 years that Mr. Reed was Rector, the Church was twice enlarged and beautified; the schools enlared; new parish works institued, and old organisations remodelled. It would be difficult to point to any part of the parish without finding some trace of the affectionate and untiring zeal of the later Rector.

The funeral took place on New Year's Day, at Hayes Church, when a large number of relatives and friends assembled to pay a last tribute of affection to him who had so recently been taken from their midst. Loving hands had decorated the chancel with beautiful and choice flowers. The service was choral, and as the solemn procession headed by the village choir and clergy entered the church by the west door the sublime words of Our Saviour "I am the Resurection and the Life" were sung with an effect which will never be forgotten by those who were present. The Rev. H.N. Wilkinson (Curate of Hayes) and the Rev. F.H. Murray (of Chislehurst) officiated. The body of the deceased was laid to rest in a grave by the side of his late daughter near the sacred edifice in which he had so often and for so many years ministered. Sir Henry Baker's lovely hymn, "The King of Love my Shepherd is," was sung at the grave side. The coffin, which was borne by eight villagers, was decked with a number of crosses and wreaths, the gifts of many loving friends. Mrs. Reed was the chief mourner, and was accompanied by Mr. Dayrell Reed, the Hon. Mrs. Langham Reed, and Miss Dayrell Reed. The following clergy took part in the procession and funeral service:- Rev. H.N. Wilkinson (Curate of Hayes), Ref. F.H. Murray (Rector of Chiselhurst), Rev. A.G. Hellicar (Vicar of Bromley), Rev. P. Barker (St. John's, Bromley), Rev. H. Edmonds (St. Mark's, Bromley), Rev. W.O. Peile (Bromley College), Rev. G.P.H. Frost (Bromley), Rev. J.J. Woodroffe (Bromley Common), Rev. A. Barber, G.O.F. Griffith, H. Arnott, A.J. Fletcher, V.F. Baker, S.W. Daukes, W. Elwin, J.D. MacArthur, E. R. Fagan, and W.H. Walters (Beckenham), Rev. G.L. Langdon (St. Paul's Cray), Rev. A. Welch (St. Mary Cray), Revs. G.W. Weldon and E. Fowle (Bickley),Rev. J.N. Heale (Orpington), Rev. F.J. Kelly (Farnborough), Rev. H.F. Wolley (Shortands), Rev. P.H. Percy (Bromley Union), Revs. H.B. Roberts and A.D. Clutson (West Wickham), Rev. C.H. Wright (Keston), Rev. T. Wilson-Lang (Cudham), Rev. E.C. Baldwin (Plaistow), Rev. A.L. Pitman (Chislehurst), Rev. A.D. Milson.

The coffin of polished oak bore a large Latin cross in brass on the lid, and a plate with the following inscription:- "George Varenne Reed M.A., Rural Dean, Rector of Hayes. Born 10th June, 1814; died 27th December 1886."

Contributed by Julie Fitzgerald

extracts from The Darwin Correspondence Online Database.

George Varenne Reed, 181686

Curate of Hayes, Kent, 18379; curate of Tingewick, Buckinghamshire, 183954. Rector of Hayes, 185486. Tutor to George Howard, Francis, Leonard, and Horace Darwin.

Sources: AC | Freeman, R. B. 1978 (See the bibliography for full references to sources) Mentioned in these volumes of the published Correspondence: 5,6,8,10,11,12 . Copyright is held by the University of Cambridge

2139: Darwin, C. R. to [Reed, G. V.], 8 Sept [1856]
Address Down
Summary George is not so low at school as CD anticipated. He keeps at the top of his class, thanks to GVR's labours.
Physical description: ALS 2pp Published in: Moore (1977): 54 Provenance: Buckinghamshire RO D22.39.1

2474: Darwin, C. R. to [Reed, G. V.], 1 July [1859]
Address Down
Summary Sends payment for Francis Darwin's tutoring. Inquires about possible arrangements for his son Leonard, who is slow and not well, to attend with Francis. Asks whether he can have a cutting of GVR's carrion-smelling Arum which he needs for an experiment.
Physical description: ALS 4pp Published in: Moore (1977): 55 Provenance: Buckinghamshire RO D22.39.2

2495: Darwin, C. R. to [Reed, G. V.], 26 Sept [1859?]
Address Down
Summary Encloses draft in payment for tutoring of sons Francis and Leonard, with thanks for all GVR's assistance. Will send his servant for Arum plant.
Physical description: ALS 2pp Published in: Moore (1977): 56 Provenance: Buckinghamshire RO D22.39.3

2918: Darwin, C. R. to [Reed, G. V.], 15 Sept [1860]
Address Down
Summary The family will move to sea-side because of his daughter Henrietta's health. When they return he will be glad to send Leonard twice a week for tutoring. Frank is in a low form at school but is doing very well.
Physical description: ALS 4pp Published in: Moore (1977): 57 Provenance: Buckinghamshire RO D22.39.4

2982: Darwin, C. R. to [Reed, G. V.], 12 Nov [1860]
Address Down
Summary The family was detained at Eastbourne by a setback in Henrietta's health. Will send Leonard for tutoring on Thursday morning. Frank is doing capitally at school.
Physical description: ALS 3pp Published in: Moore (1977): 58 Provenance: Buckinghamshire RO D22.39.5

3912: Reed, G. V. to Darwin, C. R., 12 Jan 1863
Address Hayes Rectory
Summary Sorry CD considers Horace Darwin unfit for school.
Physical description: ALS 2pp Published in: Moore (1977): 59 Provenance: CUL DAR 176: 78

4591: Reed, G. V. to Darwin, C. R., 15 Aug 1864
Address Hayes Rectory
Summary Horace Darwin making progress, but tires easily and does not like drudgery.
Physical description: ALS 3pp Published in: Moore (1977): 60 Provenance: CUL DAR 176: 79

see also: Four of his (Charles Robert Darwin) children were scientists in their own right: Sir George Howard Darwin (1845-1912), mathematician and astronomer, Sir Francis Darwin (1848-1925), botanist, Leonard Darwin (1850-1943), engineer and promoter of eugenics, and Sir Horace Darwin (1851-1925), scientific engineer and founder of the Cambridge Scientific Instrument Co.

Page updated Feb 18 by SKF