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The Darwin–Wedgwood family was a prominent English family, descended from Erasmus Darwin and Josiah Wedgwood, 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. (The most notable artist is 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 (otherwise there would be many hundreds on it).

The family is linked to William Wedgwood Benn's family of Labour Party politicians (namely himself plus son Tony, grandson Hilary, and great-granddaughter Emily Benn) through Josiah Wedgwood's great-great uncle Aaron. It is linked to the intellectual Huxley family through Andrew's marriage to Jocelyn Richenda Gammell Pease, granddaughter of Josiah Wedgwood IV and by the marriage of Angela Huxley, great granddaughter of Thomas Huxley, to George Darwin, great grandson of Charles Darwin.

Erasmus Darwin Robert Darwin Dr Robert Waring Darwin Charles Darwin (Naturalist) Josiah Wedgewood Mary Darwin (nee Howard) Elizabth Collier Sachaveral Pole Samuel "John" Galton Richard Fletcher Samuel Fox Anne Darwin William Darwin Fox Ralph Vaughan Williams Early wikipedia article No early wiki-article Marriage - solid line Intermarriage Children Emma Wedgewood Josiah Wedgewwood II Susannah Wedgewood William Erasmus Darwin Elizabeth Darwin Anne Elizabeth Darwin Francis Darwin Bernard Darwin - golf writer Frances Crofts Francis Cornford John Cornford Horace Basil Barlow Alan Barlow Nora Darwin Leonard Darwin Henrietta Emma Darwin Horace Darwin Samuel Tertius Galton Francis Galton George Howard Jacques Raverat Gwendoline Darwin Charles Galton Darwin Geoffrey Keynes Elizabeth Darwin Richard Keynes Quentin Keynes Erasmus Datwin II Frances Anne Violetta Elizabeth Darwin Charles Darwin (died aged 20) William Alvey Martha du Puy Charles Waring Darwin Mary Eleanor Darwin Erasmus Alvey Darwin Caroline Sarah Darwin Robert & Sarah had 3 other children Sarah Wedgewood Elizabeth Allen Harriett Fletcher Ellen Sophia Darwin Fox Hensleigh Wedgewood William Darwin Fox had 16 children Josiah Wedgewood III Josiah and Elizabeth had 3 other children Arthur Vaughan Williams Margaret Wedgewood Adeline Fisher Ursula Wood Erasmus & Elizabeth had six other children Samuel and Frances had 6 other childen First generation - use cursor to investigate or button to enlarge 2nd generation - use cursor to investigate or button to enlarge 3rd generation - use cursor to investigate or button to enlarge 4th generation - use cursor to investigate or button to enlarge Fifth generation - use cursor to investigate or button to enlarge 6th Generation - use cursor to investigate or button to enlarge Use cursor to investigate or button to enlarge
Darwin-Wedgwood-Galton family tree - use a cursor to investigate


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:

  • Susanna Parker (1772–1856)
  • Mary Parker (1774–1859)

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.

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 to the rich 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 give 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)

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:

Thomas Wedgwood

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

Samuel Tertius Galton

Violetta Galton (née Darwin)

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 (nee 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:

  • Mary Jane Darwin (12 February 1817 -1872), married Charles Carill-Worsley of Platt Hall, near Manchester, in 1840. (Their daughter, Elizabeth, who married Nicolas Tindal, later Tindal-Carill-Worsley, was the mother of Charles and Ralph Tindal-Carill-Worsley - see under 5th Generation)
  • Frances Sarah Darwin (19 July 1822-1881), married Gustavus Barton in 1845, widowed 1846 and remarried to Marcus Huish in 1849. She is the step-mother of the art dealer Marcus Bourne Huish
  • Edward Levett Darwin (12 April 1821 –23 April 1901), married Harriett Jessopp in 1850. A solicitor in Matlock Bath, Derbyshire, Edward Levett Darwin was the author under the pen name "High Elms" of Gameskeeper's Manual, a guide for tending game on large estates which shows keen observation of the habits of various animals.

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 was a son of Robert Waring Darwin and Susannah Wedgwood. He married Emma Wedgwood, 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. Because of intermarriages in earlier generations, they were also related in other ways.

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

  • Mary Eleanor Darwin (23 September 1842 - 16 October 1842) died as a baby.
  • Henrietta Emma "Etty" Darwin (25 September 1843 - 1929); although she married Richard Litchfield in 1871, the couple never had any children. Etty Darwin edited her mother's private papers (published in 1904) and assisted her father with his work.
    Francis Galton (1822-1911)
  • Elizabeth (Bessy) Darwin (8 July 1847–1926); never married and had no descendants.

Francis Galton

Sir Francis Galton FRS (1822–1911) made important contributions to statistics and is known as the father of eugenics. He married Louisa Jane Butler, but they had no children.

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 life-long 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 (1845–1912) was an astronomer and mathematician. He married Martha (Maud) du Puy of Philadelphia. They had four children:

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.

Francis Darwin

Francis Darwin (1848–1925) 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.

Horace Darwin

Horace Darwin (1851-1928) had the following children:

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

Gwen Raverat (née Darwin) (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. 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 was the daughter of George Howard Darwin (see above). She married Geoffrey Keynes (see Keynes family) and had sons Richard Keynes, Quentin Keynes, Milo Keynes and Stephen Keynes.

Bernard Darwin

Bernard Darwin (1876–1961) was a golf writer. He married Elinor Monsell (died 1954) in 1906, and they had a son Robert Vere Darwin (see below), and a daughter Ursula Mommens.

Frances Cornford

Frances Cornford (née Darwin). Poet, daughter of Francis Darwin, see above.

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 0393004872 (paperback)). They had the following 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, (d1920) a great grandson of Sir Francis Sacheverel Darwin, was a successful naval officer in the First World War.

Ralph Tindal-Carill-Worsley

Cmdr Ralph Tindal-Carill-Worsley, RN, (1886-1966), brother of Charles, naval officer and bon viveur, served in the royal yacht HMY Victoria & Albert III under King Edward VII before 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

Horace Barlow

Horace Barlow (b. 1921) was Professor of Physiology, Berkeley, California, USA; Royal Society Research Professor, Physiological Laboratory, Cambridge (1973-87).

John Cornford

John Cornford was a poet. Son of Frances Cornford, see above.

Robin Darwin

Robert Vere "Robin" Darwin (1910–1974) 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, nee Darwin, see above.

Richard Keynes

Professor Richard Keynes FRS (b. 1919) is a British physiologist. Son of Margaret Keynes, nee Darwin, see above.

Nicolas Tindal-Carill-Worsley

Nicolas Tindal

Group Captain Nicolas Tindal-Carill-Worsley RAF (known as Nicolas Tindal) (1911-2006), son of Ralph Tindal-Carill-Worsley, was a bomber pilot during the Second War and helped plan and execute the Great Escape from Stalag Luft III, where he was imprisoned between 1940 and 1945. His particular responsibility was to forge the documents of the escapers. He had originally been on the list of airmen due to escape from the camp in the daring enterprise, but had given his name to a brother officer whose wife was due to give birth in England. Tragically, this man was shot along with other airmen at the direct orders of Reichsmarshall Hermann Göring; an order that was one of the pieces of evidence most critical in securing Göring's conviction at the Nuremberg trials. Tindal had had his own, successful, escapes - once escaping in German uniform for eight days, before being caught near Hamburg. He married Winifred (1913-1997), d of Maj. Henry Cooper, and they had seven children: Charles (m Rosemary Dennehy), Penelope (m Henry Maitland Clark, colonial officer and MP for Antrim North (1959-1970)), Francis (married Brigid Lauder), Caroline (m Peter Dawnay), Jacqueline (m John Hoar, son of Dr Harold Frank Hoar), Anthony (m Penelope Railton) and Ralph (m Caroline Villiers-Stuart). (See also Tyndall.)[2]

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

Matthew Chapman

Matthew Chapman (b. [1950]), screenwriter, author, grandson of Frances Cornford see above.

Carola Darwin

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

Emma Darwin

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

Randal Keynes

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

Simon Keynes

Simon Keynes (b.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.[3]

Ruth Padel

Ruth Padel (b.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 (b.1945), memoirist, entrepreneur, screenwriter, grandson of Gwen Raverat (née Darwin), see above.

Lucy Rawlinson

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

The eighth generation

Skandar Keynes

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


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 decendants of his father, Sir Francis Sacheverel Darwin, and his uncle Robert Waring Darwin (Father of Charles), on 6 March 1890.[4] 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.


  1. ^ a b Milner, 1.
  2. ^ Obituary, Irish Times, 18th February, 2006
  3. ^ Obituary, Daily Telegraph, 27th December, 2007.
  4. ^ Wagner, Anthony (1939), Historic Heraldry of Britain, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 98  
  5. ^ Maccauly, 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.  

See also


  • Milner, Richard (1994). Charles Darwin: Evolution of a Naturalist. Makers of Modern Science. New York: Facts on File, Inc.. ISBN 0816025576.  
  • Freeman, Richard Broke (1982). "The Darwin family". Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 17 (1): 9–21. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8312.1982.tb02010.x.  

External links


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