NameDarwin; Erasmus (1731-1802); Dr; physician, natural philosopher, physiologist, slave-trade abolitionist, inventor and poet
Name TypePerson
ForenamesErasmus
SurnameDarwin
TitleDr
Dates1731-1802
Epithetphysician, natural philosopher, physiologist, slave-trade abolitionist, inventor and poet
Gender IdentityMale
Key Events1731 Newark on Trent, Nottinghamshire
1802 Died at Breadsall Priory. Buried at Breadsall parish church
Place of BirthElston Hall, Nottinghamshire
AddressRadbourne Hall, Radbourne (1781-1782)
Full Street, Derby (1782-1802)
Breadsall Priory (1802)
BiographyErasmus Darwin one of the key thinkers of the Midlands Enlightenment and was a prominent figure in the Lunar Society.

A leading polymath in the Enlightenment Movement of the 18th century and grandfather of naturalist Charles Darwin and biologist Sir Francis Galton. Erasmus was born at Elston Hall in Nottinghamshire. After attending Chesterfield Grammar school he studied mathematics and classics at Cambridge followed by medicine at the University of Edinburgh. Subsequently he travelled around the Midlands as a physician having his main practice at Lichfield and gained fame for cures which brought him to the attention of George 3rd who offered him a position as Royal physician which Darwin refused.

Darwin was involved in the Lunar Society and the Derby Philosophical Society and had many interests including inventions, physiology, botany and poetry. He held controversial views e.g. he challenged the biblical view of creation, encouraged the education of women, advocated republicanism and promoted the abolition of slavery. He married Mary Howard in 1757 and Elizabeth Pole of Radbourne Hall in 1782.

Shortly after moving to Breadsall Priory in 1802 he died following a period of ill health, the treatment of which he recorded in his letters. He is buried in All Saints Breadsall.
Source'Erasmus Darwin', Wikipedia entry, retrieved 22/01/2021
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D303/29/12Stories about Dr D [Erasmus Darwin] at dinner with Mr Corbett
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D77/4/11/12Letter from E [Erasmus] Darwin as D77/4/11/12
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D5476/28EJ Gallon: letter re Erasmus Darwin & boring apparatus
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D1079/2Release
1)Sir Henry Harpur of Calke
2) Sir Francis Burdett
3) Elizabeth Darwin, widow of Erasmus Darwin and Nathaniel Edwards her trustee
re messuage and 2 acres 0 roods & 5 perches in Breadsall
6 Jul
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D366/MT/12-17Copy agreement by John Twigge of Westholme Lodge, Ripley, to sell pew in Ashbourne church to Henry Thacker,
D77/3/7/3-22Papers concerning the deleterious effects of Burton Navigation 1781-95 on fishing and weir on River Trent
D7272/1Script for a documentary play entitled 'Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802): The Good Doctor who Changed the World' by Les Emmans
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STRUTT/C/51Erasmus Darwin: Zoonomia; or, the laws of organic life.
STRUTT/E/40Ernst Krause: Erasmus Darwin, translated from the German by W. S. Dallas, with a preliminary notice by Charles Darwin.
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