Ellen Wordsworth <I>Crofts</I> Darwin

Ellen Wordsworth Crofts Darwin

Leeds, Metropolitan Borough of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England
Death 28 Aug 1903 (aged 47)
Cambridge, City of Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England
Burial Girton, South Cambridgeshire District, Cambridgeshire, England
Memorial ID 102809823 · View Source
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THE FAMILY OF CHARLES & EMMA DARWIN : we now have images of the graves of all 21 members of CHARLES & EMMA DARWIN's immediate family: Charles & Emma themselves, 10 children: with 8 wives and 1 husband; TOTAL OF 19 in England & 1 in Wales and 1 in France.
Cambridge, England = 7:
E.W.D., was E.W.C. (Girton)
F.D., Sir (Ascension)
F.H.D., previously Maitland, was F.H.F., Lady (Ascension)
G.H.D., Sir (Trumpington Extension)
‘I’ (E.C.) D., was E.C. F., Lady (Ascension)
H.D., Sir (Ascension)
M.H.D., was M.H.DuP.,Lady (Trumpington Extension, cremated)
Cannes, France = 1 :
Corris, Wales = 1
A.R.D. (was A.R.R.)
Downe, England = 5
E.D. (was E.W.)
H.E.L. (was H.E.D.)
Forest Row, England = 2
(C.) M. D. (was C.M.M.)
Great Malvern, England = 1
London, England = 2
E.F.D., was E.F.F. (Putney Vale)
C.D. (Westminster Abbey)
North Stoneham, England = 2
S.P.A.D. (was S.P.A.S.)

A Fellow and Lecturer in History and English literature at Newnham College, Cambridge, (where she had been a student in 1874–7); she was a Council Member of Newnham College. A close friend of fellow Newnham Fellow Jane Ellen Harrison.

Married Francis Darwin on 13th September, 1883 at St. Andrew's, Headington, near Oxford; she gave birth to a daughter Frances (later Cornford) on 30th March, 1886.

A member of the Ladies Dining Society, of which there were 12 members, including Lady 'Ida' Darwin and Lady Maud Darwin:

Louise Hume Creighton
Ellen Wordsworth Darwin
Lady Emma Cecilia Darwin
Lady Martha Haskins Darwin
Lady Caroline Lane Jebb
Kathleen Mary Lyttelton
Mary Marshall
Lady Mary Frances Prothero
Eleanor Mildred Sidgwick
Margaret de Gaudrion Verrall
Eliza Margaret Von Hugel
Mary Jane Ward

Daughter of John Crofts of Adal, near Leeds, a Justice of the Peace, and granddaughter of the Rev. W. Crofts, B.D., Vicar of North Grimston, near Malton, Yorkshire. Her mother was Ellen Wordsworth, the daughter of a Leeds industrialist.

William Carr Crofts (1846-1894) was her brother, another brother was Ernest Crofts (1847 – 1911), was a British painter of historical and military scenes. Ellen Crofts, who was Jane Harrison's best friend from her student days at Newham, and during the period from 1898 to her early death in 1903.

Mother of Frances Crofts Cornford, nee Darwin; second wife of Sir Francis Darwin, married 13 September 1883, at Headington, Oxfordshire. Stepmother of Bernard Darwin, son of Francis Darwin and the late Amy Darwin, nee Ruck.

She died of a lingering heart condition; her last days were spent lying in the veranda at Wychfield House, Cambridge.*

Her gravestone is the large flat pinkish slab along the main pathway from the road- first row on the right hand side in St. Andrew's Church, Girton, Cambridgeshire.
"Just as Francis was turning his attention back to his father and the task of editing more of his letters, in order to meet the public's insatiable appetite for insights to Charles's life, Ellen's fragile health began to deteriorate. She died in 1903, the same year that 'More Letters of Charles Darwin' was ready for publication. Mitralstenosis was diagnosed, suggesting that in her youth she had contracted rheumatic fever, a common condition whose survivors were often left permanently weakened." (page 153)...

"Heartbroken, Francis and Frances did not attend Ellen's funeral. Instead they walked into the country, found a quiet wood and, in keeping with Ellen's spirit, read Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility to each other." (page 161).

['It's the best source I could find about Francis and is, in my opinion, very readable!': comment made by another author]

Henry Sidgwick was a first cousin of Ellen Wordsworth Crofts; he founded the Newnham College in Cambridge in 1875.Newnham College is a women-only constituent college of the University of Cambridge, England.It was the second Cambridge college to admit women after Girton College. The co-founder of the college was Millicent Garrett Fawcett. ‎

b. 1885, dau. of John Crofts of Adel, nr Leeds; m. Oct. 1883 Francis Darwin 3rd S. of Charles Darwin; 1 dau., Frances Crofts Darwin (Mrs Cornford).
*e Newnham 1874-M.77; Hist. Trip. Cl.II†1877, Essay Prize'winner 1877.
*c Newnham Coll. Lect. 1878-83, member of Council 1881-84, 1888-91, Associate 1893-1901.
Publi. Lectures in English Literature (1883); various articles in Cambridge Review, 19th Century, Nat. Review, Internat. Jour. Ethics.
Died 28 Aug. 1903.
*s 1879

Family Members




  • Created by: Martin Douglas Packer
  • Added: 29 Dec 2012
  • Find a Grave Memorial 102809823
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Ellen Wordsworth Crofts Darwin (13 Jan 1856–28 Aug 1903), Find a Grave Memorial no. 102809823, citing St Andrew Churchyard, Girton, South Cambridgeshire District, Cambridgeshire, England ; Maintained by Martin Douglas Packer (contributor 47912178) .