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Darwin, Sir Horace, 1851-1928 (Knight and civil engineer)

 Person

Biography

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:

 Fonds

Darwin Archive

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS DAR
Scope and Contents The Darwin archive comprises the personal and scientific working papers of Charles Robert Darwin (1809-1882), together with correspondence and papers of many members of the wider Darwin family. Darwin’s scientific papers include his significant corpus of work on species, evolution and natural selection, and papers relating to the voyage of HMS Beagle, 1831-6. This material consists of: experimental and theoretical notebooks; draft essays; loose notes and scraps of notes, generally...
Dates: [1662- 1980s], bulk 19th century
Conditions Governing Access: Some material in the Darwin archive is not available because it is unfit for production and access to some very fragile material may only be possible with support from specialist conservation staff. Please see descriptions for further details.
 Sub-Series

DARWIN, Horace, 1909-1917

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.10286/1/20
Scope and Contents

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.

Dates: 1909-1917
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Fonds

Ida Darwin: Correspondence and Papers II

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.10286
Scope and Contents

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.

Dates: 1862-1946
Conditions Governing Access: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 File

Memorial to the Vice Chancellor, 16 June 1892

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.5944/36/3
Scope and Contents Signed by J.D. Duff, J.C. Saunders, A.T. Lyttelton, C.V. Stanford, J.W. Clark, G.W. Prothero, Arthur Tilley, F.W. Maitland, Alex. Hill, J.A. Ewing, W.J. Lewin, Arthur E. Shipley, E.S. Roberts, John B. Lock, William Raynes, W.L. Mollison, Henry Henn, W. Aldis Wright, W. Headlam, R.A. Neil, E.T.S. Carr, J.H. Middleton, W.E. Heitland, F. Pattrick, E.W. Thompson, S.G. Phear, R. Burn, W.S. Hadley, J. Hamblin Smith, W.M. Fawcett, Herbert E. Ryle, W.H. Macaulay, S.F. Harmer, Laurence Humphry, H.R....
Dates: 16 June 1892
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Fonds

Sir Horace Darwin: Letter to Francis Jenkinson, 1896

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.4251/340
Scope and Contents From the Fonds:

Artificial collection of single item or small collection accessions. Mainly correspondence but includes other papers.

Dates: 1896
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).

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