RECORD: Darwin, C. R. [1879]. Draft of Erasmus Darwin, folio 8. CUL-DAR212.3. Edited by John van Wyhe (Darwin Online,

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Christine Chua and edited by John van Wyhe 10.2022. RN1

NOTE: See record in the Darwin Online manuscript catalogue, enter its Identifier here. Reproduced with permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library and William Huxley Darwin.

Darwin, C. R. 1879. Preliminary notice. In Ernst Krause, Erasmus Darwin. Translated from the German by W. S. Dallas, with a preliminary notice by Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. (F1319)



(About the second son, Erasmus, (born 1759) I have little to say, for though he wrote poetry, he seems to have had none of the other tastes for science tastes of his father. He had, however, his own peculiar tastes, viz genealogy, & the collecting of census & statistics. When a boy, he corrected as I have b was told by my father, he visited the every all the homes in the city of Litchfield Lichfield & found out the number of inhabitants in as many homes as he could, & he thus made a census, which there was reason to believe was nearly passed any account when a real census one was first made, his estimate was found to be nearly accurate. He was said to be of very sensitive disposition. His letters  give a pleasing [illeg] of his character. His disposition was quiet & retiring. (a) He practiced as a solicitor solicitor in Lichfield & was so successful that he intended thought of in when only old of [illeg] when only 40 years old, he thought of retiring from his profession business in & building a house cottage house on his father's former former Botanic Garden, & retire from business, & he did actuall purchaseBreads [illeg]

His father thought this a great mistake & in a letter letter (Aug 8' 1799) to my Father says,─ "all which I much disapprove. Therefore you will please not to mention it, & I hope it will fall through. He did, however, soon afterwards He did actually purchase Breadsall Priory near Derby with the some inheritance of soon retiring to a life of Tranquillity & [illeg]. But no such end was in store for him & as his unhappy fate will afterwards be recorded related.)

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Citation: John van Wyhe, ed. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (

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