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Erasmus Darwin was an English physician who turned down George III's invitation to be a physician to the King. One of the key thinkers of the Midlands Enlightenment, he was also a natural philosopher, physiologist, abolitionist, inventor and poet. His poems included much natural history, including a statement of evolution and the relatedness of all forms of life. He was a member of the Darwin–Wedgwood family, which includes his grandsons Charles Darwin and Francis Galton. Darwin was also a founding member of the Lunar Society of Birmingham, a discussion group of pioneering industrialists and natural philosophers.

Early Life

Born at Elston Hall, Nottinghamshire near Newark-on-Trent, England, the youngest of seven children of Robert Darwin of Elston (12 August 1682–20 November 1754), a lawyer, and his wife Elizabeth Hill (1702–1797). The name Erasmus had been used by a number of his family and derives from his ancestor Erasmus Earle, Common Sergent of England under Oliver Cromwell. His siblings were:

Robert Darwin (17 October 1724–4 November 1816)
Elizabeth Darwin (15 September 1725–8 April 1800)
William Alvey Darwin (3 October 1726–7 October 1783)
Anne Darwin (12 November 1727–3 August 1813)
Susannah Darwin (10 April 1729–29 September 1789)
John Darwin, rector of Elston (28 September 1730–24 May 1805)

He was educated at Chesterfield Grammar School, then later at St John's College, Cambridge. He obtained his medical education at ..
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