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|Sir Francis Darwin|
|Born||16 August 1848
Down House, Downe, Kent
|Died||19 September 1925 (aged 77)
Darwin went to Trinity College, Cambridge, first studying mathematics, then changing to natural sciences, graduating in 1870. He then went to study medicine at St George's Medical School, London, earning an MB in 1875, but did not practice medicine.
Darwin was married three times and widowed twice. First he married Amy Ruck in 1874, but she died in 1876 four days after the birth of their son Bernard Darwin, who was later to become a golf writer. In September 1883 he married Ellen Crofts and they had a daughter Frances Crofts Darwin (1886–1960), a poet who married the poet Francis Cornford and became known under her married name. Ellen died in 1903. His third wife was Florence Henrietta Fisher, daughter of Herbert William Fisher and widow of Frederic William Maitland, whom he married in 1913, the year in which he was knighted. Her sister Adeline Fisher was the first wife of Darwin's second cousin once removed Ralph Vaughan Williams.
Francis Darwin worked with his father on experiments dealing with plant movements, specifically phototropism and they co-authored The Power of Movement in Plants (1880). Their experiments showed that the coleoptile of a young grass seedling directs its growth toward the light by comparing the responses of seedlings with covered and uncovered coleoptiles. These observations would later lead to the discovery of auxin.
Darwin was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society on 8 June 1882, the same year in which his father died. Darwin edited The Autobiography of Charles Darwin (1887), and produced some books of letters from the correspondence of Charles Darwin; The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin (1887) and More Letters of Charles Darwin (1905). He also edited Thomas Huxley's On the Reception of the Origin of Species (1887).
He is buried at the Parish of the Ascension Burial Ground in Cambridge, where he is interred in the same grave as his daughter Frances Cornford. His brother Sir George Darwin is buried in the Trumpington Extension Cemetery, Cambridge and brother Sir Horace Darwin is also interred in the Ascension Parish Burial Ground, Cambridge.
His first wife Amy Ruck was buried in North Wales, according to a letter written by Charles Darwin to his close friend, Joseph Dalton Hooker: " I never saw anyone suffer so much as poor Frank. He has gone to N. Wales to bury the body in a little church-yard amongst the mountains".
The whereabouts of the grave of his second wife, Lady Ellen Wordsworth Darwin, is not yet known.
- "Obituary Notices". Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 110 (768): i–c. 1932. doi:10.1098/rspb.1932.0031.
- Venn, J.; Venn, J. A., eds. (1922–1958). "Darwin, Francis". Alumni Cantabrigienses (10 vols) (online ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- A Guide to Churchill College, Cambridge: text by Dr. Mark Goldie, pages 62 and 63 (2009)
Further reading 
- Ayres, Peter. "The Aliveness of Plants: The Darwins at the Dawn of Plant Science" London: PIckering & Chatto, 2008. ISBN 978-1-85196-970-8
- Darwin, Francis Sacheverell. (1927). Travels in Spain and the East, 1808-1810. Cambridge University press (reissued by Cambridge University Press, 2009; ISBN 978-1-108-00431-2)
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Francis Darwin|
- Francis Darwin at Find a Grave
- Francis Darwin at Find a Grave for his first wife, Amy Rushenda Darwin, nee Ruck.
- Francis Darwin at Find a Grave for his second wife,Lady Ellen Wordsworth Darwin, nee Crufts.
- Francis Darwin at Find a Grave for his third wife, Lady Florence Henrietta Darwin, nee Fisher.
- Works by Francis Darwin at Project Gutenberg
- Archival material relating to Francis Darwin listed at the UK National Archives