Letter from Erasmus Darwin to Matthew Boulton, 1793/01/05

5 January 1793

Darwin writes to Boulton to say he regrets being unable to visit Soho and enquire after an chemical lamp.


Jan 5-93 Saturday

Dear Boulton

I am glad to see your handwriting as it assures me you are in the land of the living, I was a day lately at Mr Keir’s to visit Miss Keir, who was ill, and wished to have come to Soho for _ a day, but Time and Fate, two great Despots, withstood my efforts.

Tomorrow (Sunday) I go into Leicestershire, and return on Monday even. and shall after that time be glad to see your friend, whenever it is agreable to him.

Now I think you promised to send me a chemical lamp, which you have not perform’d – don’t let it be a magical lamp, with Genii and Daemons subservient to it, like the lamp of Aladin in the arabian tales, least I should not be able to lay the devils I may raise.

The Lord preserve you from every kind of Devil


E Darwin

Pray come and see us. I am glad to hear your son is well. I think your daughter is married? I beg my compliments to them both. Mrs Darwin joins her best respects, and shall be glad to see your daughter with you.

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Image creators: Dr Darwin, Erasmus (Creator)
Image courtesy of: Birmingham Archives
Donor ref: MBP/304/41