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Eramus Darwin is Born

Today in Masonic History Eramus Darwin is born in 1731.

Eramus Darwin was a British philosopher, physiologist, abolitionist, inventor and poet.

Darwin was born on December 12th, 1731 in Elston, Nottinghamshire, England. Darwin was educated at Chesterfield Elementary School, St. John's College Cambridge and finally the University of Edinburgh Medical School. There is no evidence that Darwin obtained his M.D. he did go into medical practice though.

Darwin had 14 children including two illegitimate children with the governess of Robert, father of naturalist Charles Darwin. After the passing of his first wife in 1770 Darwin hired Mary Parker a governess for his son Robert. They had two daughters.

Darwin was one of the great thinkers of the Midlands Enlightenment a part of the larger enlightenment era. Darwin helped create or become part of a variety of societies including the Lichfield Botanical Society and the Lunar Society.

The Lunar Society is known only by the documents of those who participated in the group, there were no formal records kept by the group. Notably Benjamin Franklin among others were associated with the society. The Lunar Society took it's name from the designated meeting night, monthly on the full moon. The full moon provided light for traveling home after the meeting. The members took to calling themselves Lunaticks after the lunatic.

Darwin was a man ahead of his time. In his poems and writings he speculated on many more modern theories. One of those theories was on evolution possibly influencing this grandson Charles Darwin. He also speculated about the Big Bang, a theory which had not come about until the 19th and early 20th century.

Darwin was also an inventor, inventing a variety of things, these included various weather monitoring machines, a copying machine, a speaking machine and a steering mechanism for a carriage. Darwin also left in his drawings of ideas a rocket engine that used hydrogen and oxygen.

Darwin passed away on April 18th, 1802.

Darwin was a member of Canongate Kilwinning Lodge No. 2 in Edinburgh, Scotland.