Darwin–Wedgwood family

The Darwin–Wedgwood family is composed of two interrelated English families, descending from the prominent 18th-century doctor, Erasmus Darwin, and Josiah Wedgwood, founder of the pottery firm, Josiah Wedgwood and Sons, 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 (including the composer Ralph Vaughan Williams). 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. Note the tree below does not include all descendants or even all prominent descendants.

The first generation

Josiah Wedgwood

Josiah Wedgwood (1730–1795)

Josiah Wedgwood (1730–1795) was a noted potter and a friend of Erasmus Darwin. In 1780, on the death of his long-time business partner Thomas Bentley, Josiah turned to his friend 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's son Robert. One of the children of that marriage, Charles Darwin, also married a Wedgwood – Emma, Josiah's granddaughter. Robert's inheritance of Josiah's money enabled him to fund Charles Darwin's chosen vocation in natural history that led to the inception of Darwin's theory of evolution. Subsequently Emma's inheritance made the Darwins a wealthy family.

Josiah Wedgwood married Sarah Wedgwood (1734–1815), and they had seven children, including:

Erasmus Darwin

Erasmus Darwin (1731–1802)

Erasmus Darwin (1731–1802) was a physician, botanist and poet from Lichfield, whose lengthy botanical poems gave insights into medicine and natural history, and outlined an evolutionist theory that anticipated both Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and his grandson Charles. He married twice, first in 1757 to Mary Howard (1740–1770), who died from alcohol-induced liver failure aged 31. She gave birth to:

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 and was the natural daughter of the Charles Colyear, 2nd Earl of Portmore. Sacheveral-Pole died shortly afterwards, and Erasmus married Elizabeth and they bore an additional seven children:

Samuel "John" Galton

Samuel "John" Galton FRS (1753–1832) was an arms manufacturer from Birmingham. He married Lucy Barclay (1757–1817), daughter of Robert Barclay Allardice, MP, 5th of Urie. They had the eight children:

The second generation

Robert Darwin (1766–1848)

Robert Darwin

The son of Erasmus Darwin, Robert Darwin was a noted physician from Shrewsbury,[1] whose own income as a physician, together with astute investment of his inherited wealth, enabled him to fund his son Charles Darwin's place on the Voyage of the Beagle and then gave him the private income needed to support Charles' chosen vocation in natural history that led to the inception of Darwin's theory of evolution. He married Susannah Wedgwood, daughter of Josiah Wedgwood (see above), and they had the following children.

Josiah Wedgwood

Josiah Wedgwood (1769 1843) was the son of the first Josiah Wedgwood, and Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent. He married Elizabeth Allen (1764–1846) and they had seven children:

Josiah Wedgwood (1769–1843)

Thomas Wedgwood

Thomas Wedgwood (1771–1805). Pioneer in developing photography. Son of Josiah Wedgwood.

Samuel Tertius Galton

Samuel Tertius Galton married Frances Anne Violetta Darwin, (1783–1874) daughter of Erasmus Darwin, see above. They had three sons and four daughters including:

Sir Francis Sacheverel Darwin

Sir Francis Sacheverel Darwin

Sir Francis Sacheverel Darwin was the son of Erasmus Darwin and Elizabeth (née Collier), daughter of Charles Colyear, 2nd Earl of Portmore. Francis was an accomplished travel writer, explorer and naturalist and bravely studied the ravages of the plague on Smyrna at great personal risk. He was the only one to return of his friends who set out for the East. A physician to George III, he was knighted by George IV.

On 16 December 1815 he married Jane Harriet Ryle (11 December 1794 – 19 April 1866) at St. George, Hanover Square London. They had many children including:

The third generation

Charles Darwin

Emma Darwin (née Wedgwood)

The most prominent member of the family, Charles Darwin, proposed the first coherent theory of evolution by means of natural and sexual selection.

Charles Robert Darwin (1809–1882) was a son of Robert Waring Darwin and Susannah Wedgwood. He married Emma Wedgwood, (1808–1896) 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.

The Darwins had ten children, three of whom died before reaching maturity.

Ancestry of Charles Darwin

Other notables from the same period

William Darwin Fox

William Darwin Fox (1805–1880)

The Rev. William Darwin Fox (1805–1880) was a second cousin of Charles Darwin and an amateur entomologist, naturalist and palaeontologist. Fox became a lifelong friend of Charles Darwin following their first meeting at Christ's College, Cambridge. He married Harriet Fletcher, who gave him five children, and following her death married Ellen Sophia Woodd, who provided the remainder of his 17 children.

Following his graduation from Cambridge in 1829, Fox was appointed as the Vicar of Osmaston and in 1838 became the Rector of Delamere, a living he retained until his retirement in 1873.

The fourth generation

George Howard Darwin

George Howard Darwin (18451912) was an astronomer and mathematician. He married Martha (Maud) du Puy of Philadelphia. They had five children:

Francis Darwin

Francis Darwin (18481925) was the botanist son of Charles Darwin and Emma Darwin (née 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 September 1883 and they had a daughter Frances Crofts, who married and became known as the poet Frances Cornford (see below). In 1913 he married his third wife Florence Henrietta Darwin (née Fisher); there were no children of this marriage, but he became step-father to Fredegond Shove née Maitland and Ermengard Maitland.

He is buried at the Parish of the Ascension Burial Ground in Cambridge,[3] where he is interred in the same grave as his daughter Frances Cornford. His third wife and his brother Sir Horace Darwin and his wife Lady 'Ida' are interred in the same graveyard, as well as his step-daughter Fredegond Shove but not her sister Ermengard Maitland.

Leonard Darwin

Leonard Darwin (1850–1943) was variously an army officer, Member of Parliament and eugenicist who corresponded with Ronald Fisher, thus being the link between the two great evolutionary biologists.

Horace Darwin

Horace Darwin (1851–1928) and Ida Darwin (1854–1946) had the following children:

He is buried at the Parish of the Ascension Burial Ground in Cambridge, with his wife[3] His brother Sir Francis Darwin is interred in the same graveyard.

The fifth generation

Charles Galton Darwin

Charles Galton Darwin 1887–1962 was the son of George Howard Darwin (see above) and was a noted physicist of the age, and Director of the National Physics Laboratory. His son George Pember Darwin (1928–2001) married Angela Huxley, great granddaughter of Thomas Huxley.

Gwen Raverat (née Darwin)

Gwen Raverat (1885–1957) was the daughter of George Howard Darwin and was an artist. She married the French artist Jacques Raverat in 1911 and had daughters Elizabeth Hambro and Sophie Pryor, later Gurney. Her dryly amusing childhood memoir, Period Piece, contains illustrations of and anecdotes about many of the Darwin—Wedgwood clan.

Margaret Keynes (née Darwin)

Margaret Keynes (1890–1974) was the daughter of George Howard Darwin, (see above). She married Geoffrey Keynes, brother of the well-known economist John Maynard Keynes (see Keynes family) and had sons Richard Keynes, Quentin Keynes, Milo Keynes and Stephen Keynes, and a daughter Harriet Frances.

Bernard Darwin

Bernard Darwin (18761961) was a golf writer. He married Elinor Monsell (died 1954) in 1906, and they had a son Robert Vere Darwin (7 May 1910 – 30 January 1974), and daughters Ursula Mommens (20 August 1908 – 30 January 2010), and Nicola Mary Elizabeth Darwin, later Hughes (1916–1976).

Frances Cornford (née Darwin)

Frances Cornford (1886–1960) Poet, daughter of Francis Darwin, see above, known to the family as 'FCC'; she was married to Francis Cornford, known to the family as 'FMC'. She is buried at the Parish of the Ascension Burial Ground in Cambridge,[3] where she is in the same grave as her father Sir Francis Darwin. Her late husband, Francis, was cremated at Cambridge Crematorium on 6 January 1943, and his ashes are presumed to be interred in the same grave.

Ralph Vaughan Williams

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958), British composer. His maternal grandmother, Caroline Sarah Darwin, was Charles Darwin's older sister, and his maternal grandfather, Josiah Wedgwood III, was the older brother of Darwin's wife Emma.

Nora Barlow (née 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 0-393-00487-2 (paperback)). They had the following six children:

Josiah Wedgwood, 1st Baron Wedgwood

Josiah Wedgwood (1872–1943), great-great-grandson of Josiah Wedgwood I, was a Liberal and Labour MP, and served in the military during the Second Boer War and the First World War. He was raised to the peerage in 1942.

Charles Tindal-Carill-Worsley

Capt Charles Tindal-Carill-Worsley, RN, (died 1920) a great grandson of Sir Francis Sacheverel Darwin, served on the Royal Yacht HMY Victoria and Albert III under King Edward VII, before a successful career in the First World War, where he was commander of HMS Prince George during the Gallipoli Campaign in 1915[5] He was appointed Chevalier of the Legion of Honour by the President of France in 1918.[6]

Ralph Tindal-Carill-Worsley

Cmdr Ralph Tindal-Carill-Worsley, RN, (1886–1966), brother of Charles, naval officer and bon viveur, served on the Royal Yacht with his brother, before serving in the Battle of Jutland in World War I. He retired from the Royal Navy after the First World War but was recalled during World War II, when he was commandant of a training school for WRENS (members of the Women's Royal Naval Service). He married Kathleen, daughter of Simon Mangan of Dunboyne Castle, Lord Lieutenant of Meath and a first cousin of Brig Gen Paul Kenna, VC, and had three children.

The sixth generation

Erasmus Darwin Barlow

Erasmus Darwin Barlow (1915–2005) was a psychiatrist, physiologist and businessman. Son of Nora Barlow.

Horace Barlow

Horace Barlow (born 1921) was Professor of Physiology, Berkeley, California, US; Royal Society Research Professor, Physiological Laboratory, Cambridge (1973–87).

John Cornford

John Cornford (1915–1936), was a poet and member of the International Brigades died during the Spanish Civil War. Son of Francis and Frances Cornford, see above.

George Erasmus Darwin (Ras)

George Erasmus Darwin (born 1927) is a metallurgist and is father of Robert Darwin, Chris Darwin and Sarah Darwin.

Henry Galton Darwin

Henry Galton Darwin (1929–1992) was a lawyer and diplomat. Son of Charles Galton Darwin.[7]

Robin Darwin

Robert Vere "Robin" Darwin (19101974) was an artist. He is the son of Bernard Darwin, see above.

Quentin Keynes

Quentin Keynes (1921–2003) was a bibliophile and explorer. Son of Margaret Keynes, née Darwin, see above.

Richard Keynes

Professor Richard Darwin Keynes FRS (1919–2010) was a British physiologist. Son of Margaret Keynes, née Darwin, see above.

Ursula Mommens

Ursula Mommens (née Darwin, first married name Trevelyan) (1908–2010) was a well-known potter. Daughter of Bernard Darwin, see above. Her son by Julian Trevelyan is the film-maker Philip Trevelyan.

Geoffrey Tindal-Carill-Worsley

Air Commodore Geoffrey Tindal-Carill-Worsley (1908–1996) was a RAF offer during the Second World War. Nephew of Charles and Ralph Tindal-Carill-Worsley.

Nicolas Tindal-Carill-Worsley

Group Captain Nicolas Tindal-Carill-Worsley (1911–2006) was a RAF bomber pilot during the Second World War (known as Nicolas Tindal). Son of Ralph Tindal-Carill-Worsley.

Camilla Wedgwood

Camilla Wedgwood (1901–1955), Anthropologist, was the daughter of Josiah Wedgwood, 1st Baron Wedgwood (see above).

Cicely Veronica (CV) Wedgwood

Cicely Veronica Wedgwood (1910–1997), historian. Daughter of Ralph Wedgwood

The seventh generation

Martin Thomas Barlow

Martin T. Barlow (born 1953) is a mathematician; son of Andrew Dalmahoy Barlow.

Phyllida Barlow

Phyllida Barlow (born 1944) is a sculptor and art academic; daughter of Erasmus Darwin Barlow.

Matthew Chapman

Matthew Chapman (born 1950), screenwriter, author, grandson of Frances Cornford see above.

Robert George Darwin

Robert George Darwin (born 1959), Computer scientist, son of George Erasmus Darwin, brother of Chris Darwin and Sarah Darwin, see below.

Carola Darwin

Carola Darwin (born 1967), singer, musicologist, granddaughter of Charles Galton Darwin, see above, and sister of Emma Darwin the novelist, see below.

Chris Darwin

Chris Darwin (born 1961), conservationist and adventurer, son of George Erasmus Darwin, see above, and brother of Sarah Darwin and Robert Darwin, see below.

Emma Darwin

Emma Darwin (Novelist) (born 1964), novelist, granddaughter of Charles Galton Darwin, see above.

Sarah Darwin

Sarah Darwin (born 1964), botanist, daughter of George Erasmus Darwin, see above, and sister of Chris Darwin and Rober Darwin, see above.

Randal Keynes

Randal Keynes (born 1948), conservationist and author, son of Richard Keynes, see above.

Simon Keynes

Simon Keynes (born 1952), Elrington and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon in the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic at Cambridge University, son of Richard Keynes, see above, and brother of Randal Keynes, see above.

Hugh Massingberd

Hugh Massingberd (1947–2007) was an obituaries editor for the Daily Telegraph, a journalist and the author of many books on genealogy and architectural history. He was the great great grandson of Charlotte Langton (née Wedgwood), sister of Emma Darwin (Charles Darwin's wife) and granddaughter of Josiah Wedgwood I.[8]

Ruth Padel

Ruth Padel (born 1946), Poet, granddaughter of Sir Alan and Lady (Nora) Barlow (née Darwin), see above.

R. Sebastian 'Bas' Pease

R. Sebastian 'Bas' Pease (1922–2004), physicist, Director of Culham Laboratory for Plasma Physics and Nuclear Fusion (1968–1981), head of the British chapter of Pugwash, grandson of the fourth Josiah Wedgwood (see above). His sister, Jocelyn Richenda 'Chenda' Gammell Pease (1925–2003), married Andrew Huxley.

William Pryor

William Pryor (born 1945), memoirist, entrepreneur, screenwriter, grandson of Gwen Raverat (née Darwin), see above.

Lucy Rawlinson

Lucy Rawlinson (née Pryor) (born 1948), painter (as Lucy Raverat), granddaughter of Gwen Raverat (née Darwin), see above.

The eighth generation

Skandar Keynes

Skandar Keynes (born 1991), actor, played "Edmund" in The Chronicles of Narnia (film series), son of Randal Keynes.


There was a notable history of intermarriage within the family. In the period under discussion, Josiah Wedgwood married his third cousin Sarah Wedgwood; Charles Darwin married his first cousin Emma Wedgwood; his sister, Caroline Darwin, married Emma's brother (and Caroline's first cousin), Josiah Wedgwood III. There were other instances of cousin marriage both up and down the family tree. Cousin marriage was not uncommon in Britain during the 19th century though why is debated: poorer communications, keeping wealth within the family, more opportunity of evaluating a relative of the opposite sex as a suitable marriage partner (unmarried young women of the upper and upper middle classes were closely chaperoned when meeting men outside the family in the 19th century), more security for the woman as she would not be leaving her family (though legal rights for married women increased during the century, as a rule her property became his and she had little legal recourse if he chose to abuse her).

Coat of arms

These arms were granted to Reginald Darwin, of Fern, Derbyshire, for himself and certain descendants of his father, Sir Francis Sacheverel Darwin, and his uncle Robert Waring Darwin (Father of Charles), on 6 March 1890.[9] As Charles Darwin fell within the destination, they have been used in connection with him, despite being granted after his death. Something similar is used by Darwin College, Cambridge.

See also


  1. 1 2 Milner, 1.
  2. Arbuckle, Elisabeth Sanders (1983). Harriet Martineau's Letters to Fanny Wedgwood. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. ISBN 9780804711463.
  3. 1 2 3 A Guide to Churchill College, Cambridge: text by Dr. Mark Goldie, pages 62 and 63 (2009)
  4. "Andrew Dalmahoy Barlow". The Peerage. Lundy Consulting Ltd. 29 January 2011. Retrieved 31 May 2011.
  5. "Letter from C T-C-W to his mother Elizabeth, 8 June 1915, sold by Prestige Philately 13 June 2009" (PDF). Retrieved 4 February 2014.
  6. The London Gazette: no. 30870. p. 10091. 27 August 1918.
  7. Ian Sinclair (28 September 1992). "Obituary: Henry Darwin". The Independent.
  8. Obituary, Daily Telegraph, 27 December 2007.
  9. Wagner, Anthony (1939), Historic Heraldry of Britain, Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 98
  10. Macauly, Gregor (2009). "The Arms of Charles Darwin". The New Zealand Armorist: The Journal of the Heraldry Society of New Zealand. 112 (Spring 2009): 12–14.


External links

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