Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Darwin -- Wedgwood family
The Darwin -- Wedgwood family was a prominent English family, descended from Erasmus Darwin and Josiah Wedgwood, the most notable member of which was Charles Darwin. The family contained at least ten Fellows of the Royal Society and several artists and poets. Presented below are brief biographical sketches and genealogical information with links to articles on the members. The individuals are listed by year of birth and grouped into generations. The relationship to Francis Galton and his immediate ancestors is also given.
The first generation
Josiah Wedgwood (1730-1795) was a noted potter and a friend of Erasmus Darwin; in 1780 on the death of Josiah Wedgwood's long-time business partner Thomas Bentley , Wedgwood turned to his friend Erasmus Darwin for help in running the business. As a result of the close association that grew up between the Wedgwood and Darwin families, one of Josiah's daughters later married Erasmus' son. One of the children of that marriage, Charles Darwin, also married a Wedgwood — Emma, Josiah's granddaughter. Essentially, this double-barrelled inheritance of Josiah's money permitted Charles Darwin the life of leisure that eventually led to the formulation of his theory of evolution.
Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802) was a physician, botanist and poet from Birmingham. He married twice, first to Mary Howard 1757, who died in 1770 from alcohol-induced liver failure, aged 31. She gave birth to:
- Charles Darwin (1758-1778) (not Charles Robert Darwin)
- Erasmus Darwin II (1759-1799)
- Elizabeth Darwin, 1763 (survived 4 months)
- Robert Waring Darwin (see below)
- William Alvey Darwin, (1767) (survived 19 days)
He then had an extra-marital affair with a Miss Parker, producing two daughters:
He then became smitten with Elizabeth Collier Sacheveral-Pole, who was married to Colonel Sacheveral-Pole. Sacheveral-Pole died shortly afterwards, and Erasmus married her and they bore an additional seven children:
- Edward Darwin, (1782 - 1829)
- Frances Anne Violetta Darwin, (1783-1874); married Samuel Tertius Galton; mother of Francis Galton (see below)
- Emma Georgina Elizabeth Darwin (born 1784)
- Francis Sacheverel Darwin (1786-1859)
- John Darwin (1787-1865)
- Henry Darwin (born 1789)
- Harriot Darwin (1790-1825); later Harriott Maling.
The second generation
- Marianne Darwin (1798-?), married Henry Parker (1788–1858) in 1824.
- Caroline Sarah Darwin (1800-1888), married Josiah Wedgwood III (grandson of Josiah Wedgwood)
- Susan Elizabeth Darwin (1803-1866)
- Erasmus Alvey Darwin (1804-1881)
- Charles Robert Darwin (1809-1882) (see below)
- Emily Catherine Darwin (1810-?)
- Henry Allen Wedgwood
- Francis Wedgwood
- Hensleigh Wedgwood
- Charlotte Wedgwood; married Charles Langton
- Josiah Wedgwood III; (1795-1880) married Caroline Darwin, daughter of Robert Darwin and Susannah Wedgwood.
- Emma Wedgwood; married Charles Darwin, son of Robert Darwin and Susannah Wedgwood.
Married Frances Anne Violetta Darwin, (1783-1874). They had three sons and four daughters:
- Elizabeth Anne (1808-1906), married Edward Wheler
- Lucy Harriot (1809-1848), married James Moilliet in 1832 and had children
- Millicent Adele (1810-1883), married the Rev. Robert Shirley Bunbury in 1845 and had a daughter Emma
- Emma Sophia (1811-1904), did not marry
- Darwin Galton (1814-1903), married three times, but his only child, a son by his first wife, died when he was nine months old
- Erasmus Galton (1815-1909), Lord of the Manor of Loxton
- Francis Galton (1822-1911) (see below)
The third generation
Charles Robert Darwin was a son of Robert Waring Darwin and Susannah Wedgwood. He married Emma Wedgwood, a daughter of Josiah Wedgwood II and Elizabeth Allen. Charles's mother, Susannah, was a sister to Emma's father, Josiah II. Thus, Charles and Emma were first cousins. Because of intermarriages in earlier generations, they were also related in other ways.
The Darwins had several children, three of whom died before reaching maturity.
- William Erasmus Darwin (27 December 1839 - 1914); graduate of Christ's College Cambridge, he was a banker in Southampton. He married the New Yorker Sara Ashburner (-1902), but they had no children.
- Anne Elizabeth Darwin (1841-1851) died of tuberculosis aged ten and her death caused her father much pain.
- Henrietta Emma "Etty" Darwin (25 September, 1843 - 1929); although she married Richard Litchfield in 1871, the couple never had any children. Etty Darwin edited her mother's private papers (published in 1904) and assisted her father with his work.
- Charles Waring Darwin (6 December, 1856 - 28 June, 1858) was the tenth child and sixth son of Charles and Emma Darwin. His early death from scarlet fever meant that Charles Darwin was not present at the joint reading of the papers of Alfred Russel Wallace to the Linnean Society of London on evolution on 1st July 1858. Wallace was not present either - he was on an expedition.
Other notables from the same period
The fourth generation
- Charles Galton Darwin see below)
- William Robert Darwin (married Sarah Monica Slingsby)
- Gwendoline "Gwen" Darwin, painter; (see below)
- Margaret Elizabeth (married Geoffrey Keynes, bibliophile); see below
Francis Darwin (1848–1925 was the botanist son of Charles Darwin and Emma Darwin (nee Wedgwood). Francis Darwin married Amy Ruck in 1874, who died in 1876 after the birth of their son Bernard Darwin, an author on golf - see below. Francis married Ellen Crofts in 1874 and they had a daughter Frances Crofts, who married and became known as the poet Frances Cornford (see below).
Josiah Wedgwood (1872-1943), great-grandson of Josiah Wedgwood I, was a Liberal and Labour MP, and served in the military during the Boer War and the First World War. He was rasied to the peerage in 1942.
The fifth generation
Elizabeth Keynes (nee Darwin)
Nora Barlow (nee Darwin)
Nora Darwin (1885-1989), the daughter of Horace Darwin (see above), married Sir Alan Barlow. She also edited the Autobiography of Charles Darwin (ISBN 0393310698 (hardback) and ISBN 0393004872 (paperback)). They had the following children:
- Sir Thomas Erasmus Barlow , (23 January 1914 - 12 October, 2003), Royal Navy officer.
- Erasmus Darwin Barlow (born 1915)
- Andrew Dalmahoy Barlow (born 1916)
- Professor Horace Basil Barlow (born 1921) (see below)
The sixth generation
Horace Barlow (b. 1921) was Professor of Physiology, Berkeley, California, USA; Royal Society Research Professor, Physiological Laboratory, Cambridge (1973-87).
John Cornford was a poet.
There was considerable history of intermarriage within the family. In the time span mentioned, Josiah Wedgwood married his third cousin Sarah Wedgwood; Charles Darwin married his half-cousin Emma Wedgwood; Josiah Wedgwood III, grandson of Josiah Wedgwood, married Caroline Darwin, the daughter of Robert Darwin and Susannah Wedgwood. In addition, there may have been more instances of cousin marriage further up the family tree. It is interesting to note that Charles Darwin and his children suffered from various illnesses that could be partially the result of inbreeding. Intermarriage in the days of lower population and poor communications was quite common.
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