RECORD: Anon. 1882. [Obituary of Charles Darwin]. Launceston Examiner (22 April): 3.

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Christine Chua and edited by John van Wyhe 8.2022. RN1

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OBITUARY.

PROFESSOR C. R. DARWIN.

From our telegraphic columns it will be seen that the great naturalist and geologist, Professor Darwin, is dead. His loss will be felt severely by the whole scientific world, more especially so occuring so soon after the death of Carlyle as it does. We could ill spare either of them, although the very name of Darwin was enough to ruffle the Chelsea sage, so bitterly opposed was he to the latter's theories. Professor Darwin was the exponent of that well-known school of philosophy which takes it name from him, and is known wherever the English language is read. He was one of the most accurate observers, original thinkers, and patient investigators that the world perhaps has known, and while an earnest worker, profound naturalist, and skillful writer, he was a cautious generaliser, and withal one of the most amiable of men. But though the man has passed away, he has written his name on the roll of science in characters that are as imperishable as natura itself. From Men of the Time we take the following particulars: Charles Robert Darwin, L.L.D., F.R.S., was born at Shrewsbury, February 12, 1809, being the son of Dr. Robert Waring Darwin, F.R.S., physician of that town. His grandfather was the celebrated Dr. Erasmus Darwin, F.R.S., the poetical, philanthropical, and scientific physician of Lichfield, whose "Botanic Garden," "Temple of Nature," "Zoonomia," and "Origin of Society," were once extensively read and greatly admired. Mr. Darwin's mother was n daughter of Josiah Wedgwood, the modern founder of the English pottery manufacture. He was educated first at the Shrewsbury Grammar School, under Dr. Butler, afterwards Bishop of Lichfield; he went to the University of Edinburgh in 1825; remained, there two years, and next entered Christ's College. Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1832 and: M.A, in 1837. His hereditary aptitude for the study of natural science was early perceived by his instructors; the Rev. Mr. Henslow, Professor of Botany at Cambridge, recommended him therefore to Captain Fitzroy and the Lords of the Admiralty in 1831, when a naturalist was to be chosen to accompany the second surveying expedition of H.M.S. Beagle in the Southern Seas. The first expedition, that of the Adventure and Beagle (1826-30) had explored the coasts of Patagonia. The Beagle, which sailed again December 27, 1831, and returned to England October 22, 1836, made a scientific circumnavigation of the globe. Mr. Darwin served without salary, and partly paid his own expenses on condition that he should have the entire disposal of his zoological, botanical, and geological collection. On his returning to England he published a "Journal of Researches into the Geology and Natural History" of the various countries he had visited. This originally appeared with a general account of the voyage by Captain Fitzroy, but was afterwards published separately. Since that time Mr. Darwin has prosecuted his scientific investigations in England, and for many years past he has resided near Farnborough in Kent, having married in 1831 his cousin, Miss Emma Wedgwood, by whom he has a large family. In addition to numerous papers on various scientific subjects, Mr. Darwin edited the "Zoology of the Voyage of the Beagle," and wrote three separate volumes on geology; viz., "The Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs," 1842, 2nd edit. 1874; "Geological Observations on Volcanic Islands," 1841; and "Geological Observations on South America," 1840. The most important of Mr. Darwin's subsequent works are a "Monograph of the Family Cirrhipedia," published by the Ray Society in 1851-3, and on the "Fossil Species," by the Paleontographical Society has "Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection," published in 1859, which has gone through several editions at home, and has been translated into French, German, Italian, Spanish, ani other European languages, gave rise to much controversy. In this bold and in genius essay he propounded his famous philosophical theory, of which the main proposition is that all this 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. According to him all the animals, beasts, birds, reptiles, insects, fishes, and zoophytes have descended from at most four or five progenitors; all the plants from no greater number. But analogy would lead to the belief that all animals and plants have together descended from some one prototype. Mr. Darwin's subsequent works have had for their object the supplying the data on which he founded his conclusions. A treatise on the "Fertilisation of Orchids," published in 1802, was followed by "Domesticated Animals and Cultivated Plants; or the Principles of Variation, Inheritance, lboeversion, Crossing, Interbreeding, and Selection under Domestication," in 1867. In 1871 he published the "Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex," 2 vol; a now edition of which was published in 1874 in one volume, with large additions. In this work the author infers that "man is descended from a hairy quadruped, furnished with a tail and pointed are probably arboreal in its habits." His more recent publications are "The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals," 1872; "Movements and Habits of Climbing Plants," 2nd edition, 1870; "Insectivorous Plants," 1875; "Cross end Self-Fertilisation. in the Vegetable Kingdom," 1872; and "Different Forms of Flowers in Plants of the same Species," 1877. Mr. Darwin, who has been elected a member of various foreign and English 'scientific bodies, received from the Royal Society the Royal and Geology medals for his various scientific works, and from the Geological Society the Wollaston Palladian medal. He has been created s 'knight of the order Pour le Merite by the Prussian Government; also in June, 1871, he was elected a correspond ing member of the Academy of Vienna. The university of Leyden conferred upon him the honorary degree of M.D. In Feb., 1875; and the University. of Cambridge gave him the honorary degree of LL.D., Nov. 17, 1877. He was elected a corresponding member of the French Academy of Sciences in Aug., 1878.


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Citation: John van Wyhe, ed. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (http://darwin-online.org.uk/)

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