794-0795-0

Letter from Erasmus Darwin to Matthew Boulton, 1783/03/04

4 March 1783

Darwin tells Boulton he has become involved with founding a philosophical society at Derby and encourages Boulton to work with Richard Arkwright.

Derby Mar. 4-83

Dear Sir

I am favour’d with your letter, and the note for 30£. In respect to the principle I should not have written to you for it, but that I supposed the income from your Engins would have render’d it not inconvenient to you to return it. When you can do it therefore conveniently, do so.

We intend to pass this Summer at Radburn, where Mrs D. and myself shall be very happy to see you, and yours; in the Autumn we design to return to Derby to reside for good (I hope) as they say.

We have establish’d an infant philosophical Society at Derby, but do not presume to compare it to your well-grown gigantic philosophers at Birmingham. Perhaps like the free-Mason societies, we may sometime make your society a visit, our number at present amounts to seven, and we meet hebdomidally.

‘ I have repeatedly spoke of you Engins to Arkwright’s friends, and hope you may still be employ’d, but know very little at present of the matter. I suppose you use your reciprocating engine for working corn-mills, and not your circular one?

Pray bring you Son to see us at Radburn sometime this Summer, that we may renew our early acquaintance. I wish you would bring a party of your society and hold one Moon at our house.

NB. our Society intend to eclipse the Moon on the 18 of this month, pray don’t you counteract our conjurations. I beg to be remember’d to all the Insane at your next meeting, and am dear Boulton,

your affect. friend

and obed. serv.

E Darwin

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Image courtesy of: Birmingham Archives
Donor ref: MBP/304/31 (14/794)

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