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The Abraham Darbys


The Abraham Darby

My friend Lena and I were out walking when we encountered this English rose spilling over a stone wall. Its scent was deliciously sweet, and we found a helpful tag that identified it as an Abraham Darby. It seemed an odd name for a rose. Abraham Darby helped to launch the Industrial Revolution before dying at the relatively young age of 39. His young son took over, and drove the Industrial Revolution forward. A glance at the Science Timeline will tell you more (scroll down). This Darby also died rather young and the third Abraham Darby went to work, eventually constructing the first iron bridge in the world (over the Severn). The car just visible in the picture couldn't have been invented without their breakthroughs.


A remontant rose, the Darby was bred by David Austin, who lives in Shropshire. (The Darbys were Shropshire men.) Austin introduced his first English Rose in 1963. He singlehandedly brought fragrance back to roses.