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Typescript copies of letters from Erasmus Alvey Darwin to Frances Wedgwood

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.10260

Scope and Contents

Typescript copies of approximately 150 letters from Erasmus Darwin, brother of Charles Robert (1809-1882), naturalist, geologist and originator of the theory of natural selection, to Frances (Fanny) Wedgwood (1800-1889), wife of Hensleigh Wedgwood (1803-1891), etymologist, philologist and barrister and cousin of Charles, including mentions of Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), historian and essayist, as well as family matters. Also included are some 'rough notes' by Leonard Darwin (son of Charles) including his memories of Carlyle and references to his uncle's character in Family letters by Emma Darwin nee Wedgwood (1808-1896), wife of Charles, and Charles Darwin's Life and Letters. The original letters and another set of copies are held in the Wedgwood Museum as part of the Wedgwood Mosley Collection, item 227.


  • Creation: 1836-1881


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 Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (


1 archive box(es) (1 box (7 folders))

Language of Materials


Custodial History

In Leonard Darwin's 'rough notes' he explains: 'These letters were given me by Lady Farrer. Hope Wedgwood told me that she believed that the original had been destroyed, being difficult to read.' The original letters are in fact held in the Wedgwood Museum as part of the Wedgwood Mosley Collection, item 227.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from M and M Books, Lumen Road, Off Mill Road, Royston, Herts, SG87AG

Existence and Location of Originals

Wedgwood Museum, Wedgwood Mosley Collection, item 227.

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
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Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom