The Ancestry of Francis Galton 19
find Erasmus Darwin's natural.. daughters were intimates of his family'; Colonel Edward Sacheverel Pole gave the family living to a natural son who bore the name of Pole and was beloved by Darwins, Galtons and Poles alike. Our first knowledge of Elizabeth Collier is her marriage on April 10, 1769, to Colonel Pole in the little church at Radbourne. Why should a natural daughter of Lord Portmore appear in Derbyshire? We think there is no doubt that the`true explanation is to be found in the fact that the Curzons were next neighbours to the Poles, and that Lady Curzon, formerly Lady Caroline Golyear, would be halfsister to Elizabeth Collier. - She brought her natural sister with her to Derbyshire, and there Elizabeth married. In tracing the parentage of Erasmus Darwin's second wife to Lord Portmore, we have linked up Francis Galton's grandmother with a number of names of great historical interest.
Charles Colyear himself-commonly called " Beau Colyear "-a name justified by the portraits I have seen of him, was chiefly celebrated for his horses and his equipages. But his father (see Plate XII) was a man of great distinction. He served as a soldier of fortune under William of Orange and came with him to England, afterwards serving in Spain and Flanders
"one of the beat foot officers in the world, is very brave and bold ; hath a great deal of wit ; very much a man of honour and nice that way, yet married the Countess of Dorchester "
writes a contemporary of him. Catherine Sedley, his wife, had been mistress to James the Second'. Portmore was a soldier of fortune raised . to the peerage by his achievements in the field. Catherine Sedley, whatever we may think of her morals, was undoubtedly a woman of very great character and of great wit. A sample of this is provided by her astonishment at the intensity of the Duke of York's passion for her "It cannot be my beauty," she said, "for I have none ; and it cannot be my wit, for he has not enough to know that I have any."
The portrait of her by Kneller3, till recently at Arthingworth Hall
' There are frequent visits and letters to and from these MissParkers, and they are two out of the four children in the sketch of the staircase at Dr Darwin's house : see Plate X.
' Catherine Sedley was a . kinswoman of the Churchills, whether through the Drakes or not, I have been unable to ascertain. Thus she was probably related to Arabella Churchill, and possibly to both Barbara and Elizabeth Villiers=a subject
which would form a fitting study for a thesis on heredity.
3 Sold at Christie and Manson's in 1913.