Ida Darwin

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The Hon. Lady Emma Cecilia "Ida" Darwin (née Farrer; 7 November 1854 – 5 July 1946) was an English mental health campaigner.

Biographical notes[edit]

Born in Dorking, Surrey, in 1854, she was the daughter of the statistician Thomas Farrer of Abinger Hall (later Baron Farrer) by his first wife, Frances Erskine (1825–1870), daughter of the historian and orientalist William Erskine (1773–1852).

On 3 January 1880 she married Horace Darwin, son of the naturalist Charles Darwin at St Mary's, Bryanston Square.[1] They had a son and two daughters:[2]

Along with her husband, she helped found the Central Association for Mental Welfare (CAMW) in 1913.

She died in 1946. She had an obituary in The Times,[4] with a further note by Leslie Scott[5] who described her as "one of the pioneers in this country in the field of social work".

She is mentioned several times as "Aunt Ida" in her husband's niece Gwen Raverat's childhood memoir Period Piece.[6]

The Ida Darwin Hospital in Cambridge is named for her.

She is buried at the Parish of the Ascension Burial Ground in Cambridge with her husband.

Forms of address:

  • Miss Ida Farrer (1854-1880)
  • Mrs Ida Darwin (1880-1893) - her marriage
  • The Hon. Mrs Ida Darwin (1893-1918) - her father's barony.
  • The Hon. Lady Ida Darwin (1918-1946) - her husband's knighthood.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Births, Deaths, Marriages and Obituaries . Freeman's Journal and Daily Commercial Advertiser (Dublin, Ireland), Thursday, January 8, 1880
  2. ^ Burke's Landed Gentry, Darwin formerly of Downe.
  3. ^ CWGC :: Casualty Details at
  4. ^ The Times, Saturday, Jul 06, 1946; pg. 7; Issue 50496; col E
  5. ^ Leslie Scott KC Hon. Lady Darwin. Obituaries, The Times, Tuesday, Jul 16, 1946; pg. 7; Issue 50504; col E
  6. ^ Gwen Raverat, 1952. Period Piece