Authorised form of nameDarwin; Erasmus (1731 - 1802); physician, botanist and poet
Other forms of surnameDarwen
Dates1731 - 1802
Place of birthElston Hall, Nottinghamshire, England
Date of birth12 December 1731
Place of deathBreadsall Priory, Derbyshire
Date of death18 April 1802
OccupationPhysician; Poet
Research fieldMedicine
Scientific poetry
Chesterfield School (1741-1750); St John's College, Cambridge; Edinburgh Medical School. MB (1755); MD (Edinburgh)
First medical practice in Nottingham, moved to Lichfield, Staffordshire; member of the Lunar Society; many inventions, including a vertical-axis windmill, used in Josiah Wedgwood's (FRS 1783) factory; moved to Radbourne Hall with his second wife, because she disliked Lichfield.
Freemason, member, Lodge St David No 36, Edinburgh
Membership categoryFellow
Date of election09/04/1761
RelationshipsFourth son of Robert, barrister.
Married: 1) (1757) Mary Howard (died 1770); 2) (1781) Elizabeth Collier, widow of Col Pole of Radbourne Hall.
Father (with Mary Howard) of Robert Waring Darwin (FRS 1788); grandfather of Charles Robert Darwin (FRS 1839) and Francis Galton (FRS); great grandfather of George Howard Darwin (FRS 1879), Francis Darwin (FRS 1882) and Horace Darwin (FRS 1903); 2x great grandfather of Sir Charles Galton Darwin (FRS); 3x great grandfather of Richard Darwin Keynes (FRS) and Horace Basil Barlow (FRS)
Bulloch's Roll; DNB; DSB; Venn
Robert E Schofield, 'The Lunar Society of Birmingham; A Bicentenary Appraisal' in NR 1966 vol 21 pp 144-161
Nora Barlow, 'Erasmus Darwin, FRS (1731-1802)' in NR 1959 vol 14 pp 85-98, plate
John Thomas, 'Josiah Wedgwood's Portrait Medallions of Fellows of the Royal Society' in NR 1963 vol 18 pp 45-53, plate
D G King-Hele, 'Erasmus Darwin, Man of Ideas and Inventor of Words' in NR 1988 vol 42 pp 149-180, plate
D G King-Hele, 'Shelley and Science' in NR 1992 vol 46 pp 253-265
Milo Keynes, 'Portraits of Dr Erasmus Darwin, FRS, by Joseph Wright, James Rawlinson and William Coffee' in NR 1994 vol 48 pp 69-84, plate
Desmond King-Hele, 'Erasmus Darwin's Life at Lichfield: Fresh Evidence' in NR 1995 vol 49 pp 231-243
Desmond King-Hele, 'The 1997 Wilkins Lecture: Erasmus Darwin, the Lunaticks and Evolution' in NR 1998 vol 52 pp 153-180, plate
Gordon C Cook, 'Mary Darwin's Illness' in NR 1996 vol 50 pp 59-63
Linde Katritzky, 'Coleridge's Links with Leading Men of Science' in NR 1995 vol 49 pp 261-276
'Erratum' in NR 1998 vol 52 pp 381-382
Gordon C Cook and Desmond King-Hele, 'Doctor Erasmus Darwin's Death in 1802' in NR 1998 vol 52 pp 261-265
Milo Keynes, 'The Portland Vase: Sir William Hamilton, Josiah Wedgwood and the Darwins' in NR 1998 vol 52 pp 237-259, plate
Neil Chambers, 'Letters From the President: the Correspondence of Sir Joseph Banks' in NR 1999 vol 53 pp 27-57
Paul Elliott, 'Abraham Bennet, FRS (1749-1799): A Provincial Electrician in Eighteenth-Century England' in NR 1999 vol 53 pp 59-78
Desmond King-Hele, 'Erasmus Darwin's improved design for steering carriages - and cars' in NR 2002 vol 56 pp 41-62, plate
L B Glyn, 'Israel Lyons: a short but starry career. The life of an eighteenth-century Jewish botanist and astronomer' in NR 2002 vol 56 pp 275-305
J Browne, 'Darwin on Darwin. Charles Darwin's The Life of Erasmus Darwin, ed D King-Hele' in NR 2003 vol 57 pp 346 - 348
D King-Hele, 'Makers of the future. The Lunar Men: the friends who made the future, by J Uglow' in NR 2003 vol 57 pp 348 - 350
The Library and Museum of Freemasonry 'Freemasons and the Royal Society; Alphabetical List of Fellows of the Royal Society who were Freemasons' 2010, page 26
Royal Society codeNA6942
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
EC/1761/01Darwin, Erasmus: certificate of election to the Royal Society
CB/2/133Copy of a letter from Charles Blagden to Erasmus Darwin17 March 1788
CB/2/111Copy of a letter from Charles Blagden to Erasmus Darwin28 January 1788
CB/2/85Copy of a letter from Charles Blagden to Erasmus Darwin10 November 1787
IM/001064Darwin, Erasmusnd
CB/1/3/199Letter from E[rasmus] Darwin, Derby to Charles Blagden, Gower Street, Bedofrd Square, London17 August 1785
CB/2/34Copy of a letter from Charles Blagden to Erasmus Darwin14 September 1786
CB/2/128Copy of a letter from Charles Blagden to Erasmus Darwin8 March 1788
MM/5/8Letter from Joseph Priestley, Birmingham, to Josiah Wedgwood21 March 1782
IM/001063Darwin, Erasmusnd
NLB/7/444Copy letter from Herbert Rix, to Dr Benjamin Ward Richardson20 February 1893
L&P/3/421Paper, 'An uncommon case of haemophysis' by Erasmus Darwin17 December 1759
L&P/8/102Letter, 'On an artificial spring of water' by Erasmus Darwin16 July 1784
L&P/7/2Letter, 'A new case in squinting' by Erasmus Darwin10 March 1777
L&P/6/39Paper, 'Some experiments on animal fluids' by Erasmus Darwin1774
IM/005715Darwin, Erasmusnd
L&P/9/67Paper, 'Frigorific experiments on the mechanical expansion of air' by Erasmus Darwin22 November 1787
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