RECORD: Darwin, C. R. & Emma Darwin. 1866. 'a sketch of the principal events in my life'. CUL-DAR91.102-104. Edited by John van Wyhe (Darwin Online,

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed and edited by John van Wyhe 10.2009. Corrected against the manuscript 7.2010. RN1

NOTE: See record in the Darwin Online manuscript catalogue, enter its Identifier here. Reproduced with permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library and William Huxley Darwin. The volume CUL-DAR91 contains early notes on guns & shooting. Darwin's draft of recollections of Henslow, 1861. Notes on the moral sense. Wallace pension. 'a sketch of the principal events in my life' & list of Darwin's works. Loose notes found with CUL-DAR119 'Books to be read'.

This document, written in ink on blue paper in Emma Darwin's hand, appears to be a draft of the biographical entry for Reeve and Walford 1866. A final version is at the Natural History Museum (London) and transcribed in NHM-MSS-HUN.49 and is also transcribed in Correspondence vol. 14. Darwin referred to this as 'a sketch of the principal events in my life' in his letter to Robert Hunt, 3 May [1866], Correspondence vol. 14. Darwin continued to update the list of his publications in this document at least until 1875. Darwin went to London to sit for the portrait photograph. See Correspondence vol. 14, p. 151. For details of this and all other photographs and portraits of Darwin, see the iconography by John van Wyhe in Darwin: A Companion, 2021. See the online version of the photographs of Darwin.


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Charles Robert Darwin born Feb 12 1809 at Shrewsbury; son of Dr Robert Waring Darwin F.R.S. & grandson of the Dr Erasmus Darwin F.R.S author of the Botanic Garden, Zoonomia &c & grandson by the mother's side of Josiah Wedgwood F.R.S the celebrated manufacturer of pottery. Educated at Shrewsbury school under Dr Butler, afterwards Bishop of Lichfield. In the winter of 1825 went to the Edinburgh University for two years, a Back & thence to Christ's College Cambridge, where he took his B A Bachelor of Arts degree in 1831. & after In the autumn of 1831 Captain Fitz Roy R.N. having offered to give

a Back] pencil insertion referring to note on 102v.


(a) He then attended to marine zoology & finished & read before the Plinian Society at the close of 1826 two short papers, — one on the movement of the ova of Flustra.

From Edinburgh he went to

this page was apparently not microfilmed. A white piece of paper is pasted on 102 verso, written in grey ink.



up part of his own cabin to any Naturalist who would accompany H.M.S Beagle in her surveying voyage & circumnavigation, Mr D. volunteered his services without salary but on condition that he should have the entire disposal of his collections all of which he deposited in various public Institutions. The Beagle sailed from England Dec 27 1831 & returned Oct 22. 1836.Mr D. published a volume as part of Captain Fitz Roy's general work descriptive of the voyage, in 1839. This Vol. was republished in a modified form under the title of "Journal of researches" &c in 1845

all of which...Institutions.] added in grey ink over pencil.

[103v blank]



The Royal Soc. in 1853 awarded to Mr D. the Royal Medal, & in 1864, the Copley medal. In 1859 the Geolog. Soc. awarded him the Wollaston medal.

Mr D. married his cousin Emma Wedgwood in the beginning of 1839 by whom he has a large family.

He has lived for the last 25 years since 1842 at Down near Farnborough Beckenham in Kent; & is a magistrate for that county. of Kent

He is an Honorary member of various foreign scientific societies, & was elected by the King of Prussia knight of the order of merit. —

Beckenham] insertion in grey ink.

Continued in CUL-DAR91.105-106

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

File last updated 7 September, 2023