Darwin, Sir Horace, 1851-1928 (Knight and civil engineer)
Sir Horace Darwin (1851-1928), knight, civil engineer and founder of the Cambridge Scientific Instrument Company, was born at Downe, Kent, on 13 May 1851, the ninth child of Charles Robert Darwin and his wife, Emma. He was tutored at home, and after gaining his BA degree at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1874 (with the accolade of senior optime in the mathematical tripos) he served a three-year apprenticeship with Easton and Anderson, engineers of Erith, Kent. On his return to Cambridge, Horace started to design scientific instruments for the University, and in 1881, he founded the ‘Cambridge Scientific Instrument Company’ in partnership with his friend Albert Dew-Smith. In 1891 Horace took sole control of the company. The Company was responsible for the manufacture of many commercial scientific instruments including, ‘Prof J. A. Ewing’s Seismograph’ in 1891, and in 1910 ‘Darwin’s crack extensometers for St Paul’s Cathedral’. Horace became an associate member of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1877 and a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1878. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1903. During the first world war, the Cambridge Scientific Instrument Company assisted the war effort by undertaking work for the Ministry of Munitions. This included making instruments previously manufactured in Germany and therefore unavailable. Horace was knighted in June 1918 for his work on the Munitions Inventions Panel. In 1880 Horace married the Hon. Emma Cecilia (Ida) (1854-1946), daughter of Thomas Henry Farrer, first Baron Farrer; they had one son, Erasmus (1881-1915), and two daughters, Ruth Frances (1883-1975) and Emma Nora (1885-1989). Apart from his membership of various local and University boards and committees, Horace was also an alderman and a J.P. in Cambridge. He served as Mayor of the city from 1896–1897, and was a trustee for the Cambridge Municipal Charities and on the committee of the Cambridge Association for the Care of the Feeble Minded, a charity founded by his wife. Horace was willing to use his influence both nationally and within academic circles for either raising funds or ‘bending the ear’ of influential people. Horace died at his home, The Orchard, Huntingdon Road, Cambridge, on 22 September 1928, and was buried in St Giles's cemetery, Cambridge.
Found in 5 Collections and/or Records:
Contains 35 letters sent from Horace Darwin to his wife Ida from [29 September 1909] to [1 November 1917]. Almost two thirds of the letters were sent between September and December 1910. Includes two letters from Horace to his eldest daughter Ruth whom he addresses as 'Boofie', dated 1 July 1912 and April 1913.
Contains letters and papers held by Ida Darwin. The bulk of the collection are letters sent to Ida Darwin but also includes a small quantity sent to her husband Horace Darwin, a small collection of papers relating to the purchase of opals by her son Erasmus Darwin, a collection of envelopes addressed to and letters sent to Gwen Raverat, photographs of Ida's family, and a few items of ephemera.
Artificial collection of single item or small collection accessions. Mainly correspondence but includes other papers.
The UK Archival Thesaurus has been integrated with our catalogue, thanks to Kings College London and the AIM25 project for their support with this.