Portrait detail by Joseph Wright of Derby; original at Darwin College, Cambridge.
December 12, 1731 - April 18, 1802
Best known as the grandfather of the biologist Charles Darwin, Erasmus Darwin was a philosopher, poet, scientist and physician. Well informed on all aspects of late 18th-century science and medicine, he had advanced ideas on cosmology and evolution which he recorded in verse of a high quality.
"Before coming to Derby in 1788, Dr. [Erasmus] Darwin had been made a Mason in the famous Time Immemorial Lodge of Cannongate Kilwinning, No. 2, of Scotland.
"Sir Francis Darwin, one of the Doctors sons, was made a Mason in Tyrian Lodge, No. 253, at Derby, in 1807 or 1808. His son Reginald was made a Mason in Tyrian Lodge in 1804. The name of Charles Darwin does not appear on the rolls of the Lodge but it is very possible that he, like Francis, was a Mason."
As author of Zoonomia; or the Laws of Organic Life in 1794, he proposed the gradual evolution of animals and plants.
St. Davids Lodge No. 36, Edinburgh
Source: Denslow.10,000 Famous Freemasons. For mother lodge cf. H. L. Haywood, Supplement to Mackey Encyclopedia of Freemasonry. 1966. p. 1198.