He was educated at a private school in Woodbridge, Suffolk and at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated Bachelor in 1874.
Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. He founded the Cambridge Scientific Instrument Company in 1885 and was Mayor of Cambridge between 1896 and 1897. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1903.
He was knighted in 1918.
Erasmus Darwin IV (7 December 1881 – 24 April 1915) who was killed in the Second Battle of Ypres during the First World War. Ruth Frances Darwin (1883–1972), married Doctor William Rees-Thomas, was a notable advocate of eugenics.
His family home, "the Orchard", in Huntingdon Road, Cambridge, is now the site of Murray Edwards College.
Fellow of the Royal Society. Club: Athenaeum.
Spouse 1880, Honourable Emma Cecilia Fairer,daughter of 1st Lord Farrer.