Letter from Erasmus Darwin to Matthew Boulton, 1782/01/27

27 January 1782

Darwin writes to Boulton requesting the repayment of a loan.


Radburn 27 Jan 1782

Dear Boulton,

Whether you are dead, and breathing inflammable air below; or dephogisticated air above; or whether you continue to crawl upon this miry globe, measuring it’s surface with you legs instead of compasses, and boring long galleries, as you pass along, through it’s dense heterogeneous atmosphere; – as I am alive, now, I can not recollect how I ment to finish this long period, so here we’l leave it; and pray tell me how you do, and you wife and children and fire-engines, and if you(r) philosophical society have discover’d the longitude and philosopher’s stone. And above all if you keep yourself and friends in good spirits, and happyness.

Now a second purport of this letter is to tell you, that I have bought a large house at Derby, and if it be not inconvenient to you, should be glad if you could repay me the 200£ pounds you have of mine. As I shall want money to compleat this purchase. If you could fix a time for this purpose, I will either send Erasmus, or come over to Birmingham myself; and see what all you philosophers are about.

Mr Erasmus has got the recievership of the Pole-Estate, and is to settle immediately in Derby, in a part of the house I have purchased. I have told him and Mr Robt. I was writing to you, who both beg to be remember’d to you. If you and Mrs Boulton should come into Derbyshire I hope you will not pass us. Mrs Darwin begs her Compliments to yourself and Mrs Boulton.

from your affect. friend

E Darwin

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Image creators: Dr Darwin, Erasmus (Creator)
Image courtesy of: Birmingham Archives
Donor ref: MBP/304/29