CHARLES ROBERT DARWIN was second son of Dr. Robert Waring Darwin, of Shrewsbury, where he was born on February 12, 1809. Dr. Darwin was son of Erasmus Darwin, sometimes described as poet, but more deservedly known as physician and naturalist. Charles Darwin's mother was Susannah, daughter of Josiah Wedgwood, well-known potter of Etruria, in Staffordshire.

If such speculations are permissible, we may hazard guess that Charles Darwin inherited his sweetness of disposition from Wedgwood side, while character of his genius came rather from Darwin grandfather.* (* See Charles Darwin's biographical sketch of his grandfather, prefixed to Ernst Krause's Erasmus Darwin. (Translated from German bv W. S. Dallas,1878.) (Also Miss Meteyard's Life of Josiah Wedgwood)

Robert Waring Darwin was man of well-marked character. He had no pretensions to being man of science, no tendency to generalise his knowledge, and though successful physician he was guided more by intuition and everyday observation than by deep knowledge of his subject. His chief mental characteristics were his keen powers of observation, and his knowledge of men, qualities which led him to "read characters and even thoughts of those whom he saw even for short time." It is not therefore surprising that his help should have been sought, not merely in illness, but in cases of family trouble and sorrow. This was largely case, and his wise sympathy, no less than his medical skill, obtained for him strong influence over lives of large number of people. He was man of quick, vivid temperament, with lively interest in even smaller details in lives of those with whom he came in contact. He was fond of society, and entertained good deal, and with his large practice and many friends, life at Shrewsbury must have been stirring and varied onevery different in this respect to later home of his son at Down.* (* above passage is, by permission of Messrs. Smith Elder, taken from my article Charles Darwin, in Dictionary of National Biography.)



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