He was a renowned doctor [he turned down George III's invitation to be a physician to the King] and a great fat man. He was so heavy that when visiting patients he had his equally heavy manservant walk ahead of him to check that the floorboards in a patients house would not collapse.
He was also an inventor and one of the founders of the Lunar Society. His house in Lichfield is open as a museum and is worth a visit. It has models of his many ingenious inventions.
A horizontal windmill.
A carriage that would not tip over.
A steering mechanism for his carriage that would be adopted by cars 130 years later
A speaking machine.
A canal lift for barges.
A minute artificial bird.
A copying machine.
A variety of weather monitoring machines.
An artesian well.
He never patented any of them so later inventors have taken credit
His house is in Lichfield Cathedral Close. (See my post on Charles Darwin's house. Link )
Outside Darwin's house is a herb garden surrounded by some cathedral buildings.
|Herb garden with Cathedral in background|
|Gate to Darwin's house|
The cathedral and close are well worth seeing. So is Lichfield. The centre of the city is charming with over 230 listed buildings. It is obviously a prosperous area and the pedestrian centre has many interesting shops. Lichfield was the birthplace of Samuel Johnson, the writer of the first authoritative Dictionary of the English Language. His house is now a museum but unfortunately we did not have time to visit.