The Darwin Farms: the Lincolnshire Estates of Charles & Erasmus Darwin and their Family.
Louth Naturalists', Antiquarian & Literary Society
7.30pm Conoco-Phillips Room, Louth Library, Northgate, Louth, LN11 0LY
Peter Worsley: The Darwin Farms: the Lincolnshire Estates of Charles & Erasmus Darwin and their Family.
Peter is a native of Grimsby, leaving Winteringham Grammar School initially for University College of North Staffordshire - University of Keele - to read for a double honours degree in Geography and Geology. Thereafter he studied at the University of Manchester (PhD in 1967). Although in 1980s he was Chair of Physical Geography at the University of Nottingham, it was the University of Reading that furnished both his first job and a longer term post as Professor of Quaternary Geology, and where he was conferred as Professor Emeritus in 2000. He has published over 150 research papers and now his first book, on the subject he will speak on this evening.
Erasmus Darwin was a larger-than-life character and a leading member of the Lunar Society or ‘lunatics', an eighteenth century group of entrepreneurs and experimenters who made significant breakthroughs in science and engineering. His grandson, Charles Darwin, best known for his epic book, The Origin of Species, was descended from two famous scientific families, the Darwins and the Wedgwoods. But until now the history of the Darwins as owners of several farms in Lincolnshire, including Beesby and Claythorpe near Louth, has been virtually unknown. The letters, financial accounts, photographs and maps discussed in this lecture reveal how the Darwin family influenced the lives of their tenant farmers, and provide new insights into the nature of rural Lincolnshire from the Elizabethan era right through to the mid-twentieth century.
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