- Robert Darwin
Dr Robert Waring Darwin, F.R.S. (
30 May, 1766- 13 November, 1848) was a Shrewsbury-based medical doctor, today best known as the father of the naturalist Charles Darwin.
Darwin was born in
Lichfieldin 1766, the son of Erasmus Darwinand his first wife Mary Howard. He was named after his uncle, Robert Waring Darwin of Elston(1724-1816), a bachelor. His mother died in 1770 and Mary Parker, the governesshired to look after him became his father's mistress and bore Erasmus two illegitimate daughters.
Darwin studied medicine at the
University of Leiden, and took his MD from the University of Edinburghin 1786, when he was only 20. In Edinburgh he studied under several leading scholars, including John Walker. He held his experience in Edinburgh in such high regard that he sent his son Charles to study there.
18 April 1796he married Susannah Wedgwood, daughter of the potter Josiah Wedgwoodat in St Marylebone, Middlesex, and they had six children:
* Marianne Darwin (1798-1858), married Henry Parker (1788–1858) in 1824.
* Caroline Sarah Darwin (1800-1888) married her cousin
Josiah Wedgwood III(grandson of Josiah Wedgwood)
* Susan Elizabeth Darwin (1803-1866)
Erasmus Alvey Darwin(1804-1881)
Charles Robert Darwin(1809-1882)
* Emily Catherine Darwin (1810-1866)
He was elected as a
Fellow of the Royal Societyon 21 February 1788.
He cautioned his son against voyaging on the Beagle, but was persuaded otherwise. A large man of 6'2", he reportedly stopped weighing himself when he weighed 24 stone (336 lbs). He required his coachman to test the floorboards of houses he was visiting, and had to have special stone steps made for him to enter his carriage.
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