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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Reginald Darwin   4 August 1879

Fern | Buxton

Augst. 4 1879—

My dear Cousin

I have met with an old paper which I think may be of interest to you— It is, as you will see, an address of our Grandfather’s to a new Society which he formed in Derby— The Society continued in existence until within the last 20 or 30 years, when I believe its possessions, i.e. Books, passed to the Town Library— This address was printed as a sort of preface to the Rules & the Catalogue, but I did not know of the existence of the original until last week.1

I say “original” tho’ it is not in Dr Darwin’s hand writing, but is probably a “fair copy” made for him by some member of his family— the endorsement is in my Mother’s hand—2

With kindest regards | affectly Yours | Reginald Darwin


The enclosure has not been found; CD probably returned it to Reginald. Erasmus Darwin gave an address to the newly formed Derby Philosophical Society at his house on Full Street, Derby, on 18 July 1784; the society, with its collections and library of 4000 volumes, was amalgamated with the Derby Town and County Museum and Natural History Society in 1858 (Elliott 2009, pp. 70–1, 82; Newsletter of the Geology Curators Group 8 (1976): 393). CD quoted from the address in his introduction to Erasmus Darwin, pp. 55–6.


Elliott, Paul A. 2009. The Derby philosophers: science and culture in British urban society, 1700–1850. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Erasmus Darwin. By Ernst Krause. Translated from the German by W. S. Dallas, with a preliminary notice by Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1879.


Sends an address by Dr Erasmus Darwin [to the Derby Philosophical Society].

Letter details

Letter no.
Reginald Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 99: 160–1
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 12180,” accessed on 19 May 2022,