RECORD: Cooper, T. ed., 1878. Men of mark: a gallery of contemporary portraits...photographed from life by Lock and Whitfield with brief biographical notices... London: Sampson, Low, Marsden, Searle, and Rivington, 3rd ser, p. 36 with photograph.

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by John van Wyhe 6.2019. RN2

[page] 36

CHARLES ROBERT DARWIN, LL.D, F.R.S, was born at Shrewsbury, February 12, 1809, being the second son of Dr. Robert Waring Darwin, F.R.S., physician of that town, and grandson of the celebrated Dr. Erasmus Darwin, the poetical, philanthropic, and scientific physician of Lichfield, whose "Botanic Garden," "Temple of Nature," "Zoonomia," and "Origin of Society," were once extensively read and admired. His mother was a daughter of Josiah Wedgwood, the modern founder of the English pottery manufacture. He was educated first at Shrewsbury school, under Dr. Butler, afterwards Bishop of Lichfield. He went to the University of Edinburgh in 1824, remained there two years, and was next entered at Christ's College, Cambridge (B.A. 1832, M.A. 1837). The Admiralty allowed him to volunteer as naturalist to the second surveying expedition of H.M.S. "Beagle" in the Southern Seas (1831-36). He served without salary and paid his own expenses, on condition that he should have the entire disposal of his zoological, botanical, and geological collections. On returning home he published a "Journal of Researches into the Geology and Natural History" of the various countries he had visited. Since then he has pursued his scientific researches in this country, and for many years past he has resided near Farnborough, in Kent, having married, in 1839, his cousin, Miss Emma Wedgwood, by whom he has a large family. His most celebrated work, "On the Origin of Species" (1859), has gone through several editions at home and abroad, and has given rise to much controversy. In this bold and ingenious essay he propounds his philosophical theory, of which the main proposition is that all the various forms of vegetable and animal life, past or present, have been produced by a series of gradual changes in natural descent from parents to offspring. Several of his subsequent works have had for their object the supplying of the data on which he founded his conclusions. Of these publications the best known is the "Descent of Man and Selection in relation to Sex" (1871), in which the author infers that "man is descended from a hairy quadruped, furnished with a tail and pointed ears, probably arboreal in its habits." Mr. Darwin, who has been elected a member of various foreign and English scientific bodies, received from the Royal Society the Royal and Copley medals for his scientific works, and from the Geological Society the Wollaston Palladian medal. He is a knight of the Prussian order Pour le Mérite, honorary M.D. of Leyden, and honorary LL.D. of Cambridge.


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Citation: John van Wyhe, ed. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (

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