RECORD: Anon. 1882. [Obituary of Charles Darwin]. Journal of Horticulture, Cottage Gardener 4, series 3 (27 April): 344.

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Christine Chua and edited by John van Wyhe 7.2022. RN1

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[page] 344

On Wednesday, the 19th inst., one of the greatest naturalists of the present century, MR. CHARLES DARWIN, died at his residence, Down House, near Farnborough, Kent, at the age of seventy-three. Mr. Darwin devoted much of his time to the study of plants as well as other branches of natural history, and a brief review of his life will doubtless be interesting to many. He was born on February 12th, 1809, at Shrewsbury. His father was Dr. R. W. Darwin, F.R.S., his grandfather Dr. Erasmus Darwin, F.R.S., author of "The Botanic Garden," "Zoonomia," and other works. In 1825 Darwin left Shrewsbury for Edinburgh, where he attended the University lectures for a period of two years, at the end of which he entered at Christ College, Cambridge. He took his degree in 1831, and shortly afterwards accompanied Captain Fitzroy, in H.M.S. Beagle, on a voyage of circumnavigation. This voyage has been described by himself in one of the most delightful works in the English language, "A Journal of Researches into the Geology and Natural History of the Various Countries visited during the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle Round the World." On his return from this voyage Mr. Darwin especially applied his attention to the investigation of the phenomena connected with the origin of species, which he pursued with great care for many years, and in the meantime published an elaborate and exhaustive scientific work entitled "A Monograph of the Family Cirripedia." In 1859 followed his great work on the Origin of Species. In 1862 he published his remarkable work on the fertilisation of Orchids; and in 1867 his "Domesticated Animals and Cultivated Plants, or the Principles of Variation, Inheritance, Reversion, Crossing, Interbreeding, and Selection under Domestication." In 1872 appeared "The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals;" in 1875, "Insectivorous Plants;" in 1876, "Cross and Self-Fertilisation in the Vegetable Kingdom;" and in 1877, "Different Forms of Flowers in Plants of the same Species." Only last year appeared his work on Earthworms, in which he traced the operations of worms in gradually covering the surface of the globe with a layer of mould; and as recently as last month he sent two papers upon botanical subjects before the Linnean Society, Darwin received the gold medal of the Royal Society in 1853, and the Wollaston Palladian Medal of the Geological Society in 1859. In 1875 the University of Leyden conferred upon him the honorary degree of M.D., and in 1877 the University of Cambridge made him a Doctor of Laws. He married in 1839 the grand-daughter of Josiah Wedgwood, F.R.S., the well-known manufacturer of artistic earthenware. Mr. Darwin was interred yesterday in Westminster Abbey, the Abbey being crowded with a sympathetic audience. The pallbearers were the Duke of Devonshire; the Duke of Argyll; Mr. J. R. Lowell, the American Minister; Mr. W. Spottiswoode, President of the Royal Society; Sir J. D. Hooker, late President; Mr. Alfred Russell Wallace; Professor Huxley; Sir John Lubbock, President of the Linnean Society; and the Rev. Canon Farrar. Thus has terminated a career of unusual devotion to science truly so called, and an intellect of the highest order. In disposition Mr. Darwin was singularly modest and amiable, and, as Canon Liddon has remarked, an earnest worker in "the universal triumph of truth."


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

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