Erasmus Darwin (December 12, 1731 - April 18, 1802) was an English physician. One of the key thinkers of the Midlands Enlightenment, he was also a natural philosopher, physiologist, slave-trade abolitionist, inventor and poet. He invented a carriage steering mechanism, a manuscript copier and a speaking machine. His poems included much natural history, including a statement of evolution and the relatedness of all forms of life. He was a founding member of the Lunar Society of Birmingham, a discussion group of pioneering industrialists and natural philosophers. His grandsons include Charles Darwin and Francis Galton. He died suddenly in 1802 at the age of 70. Stipple engraving by Henry Meyer, undated.