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Lady Emma Cecilia “Aunt Ida” <I>Farrer</I> Darwin

Lady Emma Cecilia “Aunt Ida” Farrer Darwin

Dorking, Mole Valley District, Surrey, England
Death 5 Jul 1946 (aged 91)
Cambridge, City of Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England
Burial Cambridge, City of Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England
Plot 2C27
Memorial ID 96969875 · 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. (Girton)
F.D., Sir (Ascension)
F.H.D. (Ascension)
G.H.D., Sir (Trumpington Extension)
*‘I’ (E.C.) D. , Lady (Ascension)
H.D. , Sir (Ascension)
M.H.D., Lady (Trumpington Extension, cremated)
Cannes, France = 1 :
Corris, Wales = 1
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.

'Ida' was christened Emma Cecilia Farrer, the daughter of Thomas Henry Farrer (later Lord Farrer) and his wife Frances. As a young child, she loved to read Hans Andersen's fairy tales, and identified with the main character in his story ‘Little Ida's Flowers'. She was known as "Ida" for the rest of her life. Her father knew Charles Darwin, and, being a keen botanist, was able to help Darwin with some of his experiments. Her father at first opposed her marriage to Horace Darwin, for he had 'no proper profession'.

A member of the Ladies Dining Society, of which there were 12 members including Mrs. Ellen 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

Ida married Horace Darwin, on 3rd January, 1880 and they made their home in Cambridge. As an intelligent and socially aware young woman, she was not content to confine her activities to socialising with Dons' wives and their families. Using her twin advantages of money and social status, she aroused public awareness and fought for social and legislative reforms in mental health services. Ida dedicated her ‘working life' to the support of the more vulnerable members of the community. She was active in the Cambridge Association for the Protection of Public Morals. She conducted investigations on the care of the mentally retarded, encouraged by the Royal Commission for the Csre of the Feeble Minded in 1908. In 1912 it held a joint meeting with the Cambridge Eugenics Society.

In 1915, a son Erasmus was killed in the trenches at Ypres in 1915. In 1918, Horace Darwin was knighted and Ida became Lady Darwin. In 1966 a new wing at Fulbourn Hospital for the mentally ill of the Cambridge area was named the Ida Darwin Hospital.

Family Members






  • Created by: Martin Douglas Packer
  • Added: 13 Sep 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 96969875
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Lady Emma Cecilia “Aunt Ida” Farrer Darwin (7 Nov 1854–5 Jul 1946), Find A Grave Memorial no. 96969875, citing Ascension Parish Burial Ground, Cambridge, City of Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England ; Maintained by Martin Douglas Packer (contributor 47912178) .