The Parents of Charles Darwin Robert Waring Darwin: 1766 – 1848. Father of Charles Darwin Studied medicine at the University of Leyden in Holland and completed his medical studies at Edinburgh, England, in 1786.
Robert was very successful: He was sympathetic and observant and had more than fifty patients within six months. He remained financially successful during sixty years of practice in Shrewsbury. He increased his wealth further through real estate speculation, stock and bond investments, and through lending money to the landed gentry. Standing 6 foot 2 inches tall, and being very portly, “He was an enormous man both physically and in personality. Charles described him as the largest man he had ever seen and compared his return to the family home at the end of the day to the coming in of the tide.”
Susannah Wedgwood: 1765 – 1817. Mother of Charles Darwin She was the first child of Josiah Wedgwoood I, who had started the highly successful Wedgwood pottery company. She married Robert Darwin in 1796, increasing his wealth by bringing a large dowry. She attended the Unitarian Chapel in Shrewsbury, and due to her influence Charles attended the Unitarian school, operated by Reverend Case, for two years. She died in 1817, when Charles was only 8 years old. He was subsequently raised by his three older sisters.
Childhood and education Charles Robert Darwin was born in the town of Shrewsbury, England on February 12th 1809.On their family home, known as The Mount or Mount House. He was the fifth of six children of wealthy society doctor and financier Robert Darwin, and Susannah Darwin (née Wedgwood). He was the grandson of Erasmus Darwin on his father's side, and of Josiah Wedgwood on his mother's side. Both families were largely Unitarian, though the Wedgwoods were adopting Anglicanism. On November the 15th, 1809, when Charles was only nine months old, he was baptized in Saint Chad's Anglican Church, where his father was a member. The seven-year-old Charles Darwin in1816.
At the age of eight, Charles was enrolled in Rev. Case's school by his mother but attended this school for only one year. In this age Charles already had a taste for natural history and collecting when he joined the day school run by its preacher in 1817. Unfortunately during this year his mother died and he was enrolled at Doctor Samuel Butler's school also known as the Shrewsbury School. From September 1818, he joined his older brother Erasmus attending the nearby Anglican Shrewsbury School as a boarder
Darwin spent the summer of 1825 as an apprentice doctor, helping his father treat the poor of Shropshire, before going to the University of Edinburgh Medical School with his brother Erasmus in October 1825. At age 16 his father Robert enrolled him at Edinburgh University. He found lectures dull and surgery distressing, so neglected his studies. He learned taxidermy from John Edmonstone, a freed black slave who had accompanied Charles Waterton in the South American rainforest, and often sat with this "very pleasant and intelligent man". In Darwin's second year he joined the Plinian Society, a student natural history group whose debates strayed into radical materialism.
He assisted Robert Edmund Grant's investigations of the anatomy and life cycle of marine invertebrates in the Firth of Forth, and on 27 March 1827 presented at the Plinian his own discovery that black spores found in oyster shells were the eggs of a skate leech. One day, Grant praised Lamarck'sevolutionary ideas. Darwin was astonished, but had recently read the similar ideas of his grandfather Erasmus and remained indifferent. Darwin was rather bored by Robert Jameson's natural history course which covered geology including the debate between Neptunism and Plutonism. He learned classification of plants, and assisted with work on the collections of the University Museum, one of the largest museums in Europe at the time.
This neglect of medical studies annoyed his father, who shrewdly sent him to Christ's College, Cambridge, for a Bachelor of Arts degree as the first step towards becoming an Anglican parson. As Darwin was unqualified for the Tripos, he joined the ordinary degree course in January 1828.He preferred riding and shooting to studying. His cousin William Darwin Fox introduced him to the popular craze for beetle collecting which Darwin pursued zealously, getting some of his finds published in Stevens' Illustrations of British entomology.
He became a close friend and follower of botany professor John Stevens Henslow and met other leading naturalists who saw scientific work as religious natural theology, becoming known to these dons as "the man who walks with Henslow". When his own exams drew near, Darwin focused on his studies and was delighted by the language and logic of William Paley's Evidences of Christianity. In his final examination in January 1831 Darwin did well, coming tenth out of 178 candidates for the ordinary degree.
Darwin had to stay at Cambridge until June. He studied Paley's Natural Theology which made an argument for divine design in nature, explaining adaptation as God acting through laws of nature. He read John Herschel's new book which described the highest aim of natural philosophy as understanding such laws through inductive reasoning based on observation, and Alexander von Humboldt's Personal Narrative of scientific travels. Inspired with "a burning zeal" to contribute, Darwin planned to visit Tenerife with some classmates after graduation to study natural history in the tropics.
In preparation, he joined Adam Sedgwick's geology course, then went with him in the summer for a fortnight to map strata in Wales. After a week with student friends at Barmouth, he returned home to find a letter from Henslow proposing Darwin as a suitable (if unfinished) gentleman naturalist for a self-funded place with captain Robert FitzRoy, more as a companion than a mere collector, on HMS Beagle which was to leave in four weeks on an expedition to chart the coastline of South America. His father objected to the planned two-year voyage, regarding it as a waste of time, but was persuaded by his brother-in-law, Josiah Wedgwood, to agree to his son's participation.
Voyage of the Beagle Voyage of the Beagle Route Map
The Beagle was one of six brig sloop ships that the British navy had built to do surveying, using the recently developed accurate clocks that made it possible to measure longitude. Only 90 feet long, this sailing ship carried 74 people in very close quarters, and 22 clocks for accuracy in surveying. The voyage was planned to be two years in length, but ultimately lasted five years. Darwin shared quarters with Captain FitzRoy and had a small room near the stern for his samples and workspace. On December 10, 1831, the Beagle sailed out of Devonport, a district of Plymouth, England, but was driven back by strong gale winds. A second attempt on December 21 had the same result. Finally on December 27, the ship successfully left Plymouth, heading for South American. A planned stop at Teneriffe never occurred, because the island was quarantined in hope of preventing the spread of cholera from arriving ships.
Darwin experienced an earthquake in Chile and saw signs that the land had just been raised, including mussel-beds stranded above high tide. High in the Andes he saw seashells, and several fossil trees that had grown on a sand beach. He theorised that as the land rose, oceanic islands sank, and coral reefs round them grew to form atolls. On the geologically new Galápagos Islands Darwin looked for evidence attaching wildlife to an older "centre of creation", and found mockingbirds allied to those in Chile but differing from island to island. He heard that slight variations in the shape of tortoise shells showed which island they came from, but failed to collect them, even after eating tortoises taken on board as food. In Australia, the marsupial rat-kangaroo and the platypus seemed so unusual that Darwin thought it was almost as though two distinct Creators had been at work.He found the Aborigines "good-humoured & pleasant", and noted their depletion by European settlement.
Beginning on the 27th of December, 1831, the voyage lasted almost five years and, as FitzRoy had intended, Darwin spent most of that time on land investigating geology and making natural history collections, while the Beagle surveyed and charted coasts. On their first stop ashore at St. Jago, Darwin found that a white band high in the volcanic rock cliffs included seashells. FitzRoy had given him the first volume of Charles Lyell's Principles of Geology which set out uniformitarian concepts of land slowly rising or falling over immense periods,and Darwin saw things Lyell's way, theorising and thinking of writing a book on geology.
At Punta Alta in Patagonia he made a major find of fossil bones of huge extinct mammals in cliffs beside modern seashells, indicating recent extinction with no signs of change in climate or catastrophe. He identified the little known Megatherium by a tooth and its association with bony armour which had at first seemed to him like a giant version of the armour on local armadillos. Further south he saw stepped plains of shingle and seashells as raised beaches showing a series of elevations. He read Lyell's second volume and accepted its view of "centres of creation" of species, but his discoveries and theorising challenged Lyell's ideas of smooth continuity and of extinction of species
The Beagle investigated how the atolls of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands had formed, and the survey supported Darwin's theorizing. FitzRoy began writing the official Narrative of the Beagle voyages, and after reading Darwin's diary he proposed incorporating it into the account. Darwin's Journal was eventually rewritten as a separate third volume, on natural history. In Cape Town Darwin and FitzRoy met John Herschel, who had recently written to Lyell praising his uniformitarian's as opening bold speculation on "that mystery of mysteries, the replacement of extinct species by others" as "a natural in contradistinction to a miraculous process".
When organizing his notes as the ship sailed home, Darwin wrote that if his growing suspicions about the mockingbirds, the tortoises and the Falkland Islands Fox were correct, "such facts undermine the stability of Species", then cautiously added "would" before "undermine". He later wrote that such facts "seemed to me to throw some light on the origin of species".
Inception of Darwin's evolutionary theory When the Beagle reached Falmouth, Cornwall, on 2 October 1836, Darwin was already a celebrity in scientific circles as in December 1835 Henslow had fostered his former pupil's reputation by giving selected naturalists a pamphlet of Darwin's geological letters. While still a young man, Charles Darwin joined the scientific elite
Charles Lyell eagerly met Darwin for the first time on 29 October and soon introduced him to the up-and-coming anatomist Richard Owen, who had the facilities of the Royal College of Surgeons to work on the fossil bones collected by Darwin. Owen's surprising results included other gigantic extinct ground sloths as well as the Megatherium, a near complete skeleton of the unknown Scelidotherium and a hippopotamus-sized rodent-like skull named Toxodon resembling a giant capybara. The armour fragments were actually from Glyptodon, a huge armadillo-like creature as Darwin had initially thought.These extinct creatures were related to living species in South America.
Early in March, Darwin moved to London to be near this work, joining Lyell's social circle of scientists and experts such as Charles Babbage, who described God as a programmer of laws. Darwin stayed with his freethinking brother Erasmus, part of this Whig circle and close friend of writer Harriet Martineau who promoted Malthusianism underlying the controversial Whig Poor Law reforms to stop welfare from causing overpopulation and more poverty.
Gould met Darwin and told him that the Galápagos mockingbirds from different islands were separate species, not just varieties, and what Darwin had thought was a "wren" was also in the finch group. Darwin had not labelled the finches by island, but from the notes of others on the Beagle, including FitzRoy, he allocated species to islands. The two rheas were also distinct species, and on 14 March Darwin announced how their distribution changed going southwards.
In mid-July 1837 Darwin started his "B" notebook on Transmutation of Species,
By mid-March, Darwin was speculating in his Red Notebook on the possibility that "one species does change into another" to explain the geographical distribution of living species such as the rheas, and extinct ones such as the strange Macrauchenia which resembled a giant guanaco. His thoughts on lifespan, asexual reproduction and sexual reproduction developed in his "B" notebook around mid-July on to variation in offspring "to adapt & alter the race to changing world" explaining the Galápagos tortoises, mockingbirds and rheas. He sketched branching descent, then a genealogical branching of a single evolutionary tree, in which "It is absurd to talk of one animal being higher than another", discarding Lamarck's independent lineages progressing to higher forms.
Overwork, illness, and marriage Darwin's health suffered from the pressure. On 20 September he had "an uncomfortable palpitation of the heart", so his doctors urged him to "knock off all work" and live in the country for a few weeks. After visiting Shrewsbury he joined his Wedgwood relatives at Maer Hall, Staffordshire, but found them too eager for tales of his travels to give him much rest. His charming, intelligent, and cultured cousin Emma Wedgwood, nine months older than Darwin, was nursing his invalid aunt.
On 11 November, he returned to Marry and proposed to Emma, once more telling her his ideas. She accepted, then in exchanges of loving letters she showed how she valued his openness in sharing their differences, also expressing her strong Unitarian beliefs and concerns that his honest doubts might separate them in the afterlife. Darwin chose to marry his cousin, Emma Wedgwood.
While he was house-hunting in London, bouts of illness continued and Emma wrote urging him to get some rest, almost prophetically remarking "So don't be ill any more my dear Charley till I can be with you to nurse you." On 29 January Darwin and Emma Wedgwood were married at Maer in an Anglican ceremony arranged to suit the Unitarians, then immediately caught the train to London and their new home.
Darwin was devoted to his wife and daughters but treated them as children, obliging Emma to ask him for the only key to the drawers containing all the keys to cupboards and other locked depositories.
Darwin's children Charles and Emma Darwin were both fond of children and would eventually have a total of ten with the first one born towards the end of 1839 and the last one in 1856 when Emma was 48 yeas old. Many stories are told about how Charles liked to play with the children and while doing so made many observations about their behavior. Below is a list of the children in chronological order and a few facts about their lives including their date of birth and death.
William Erasmus birth 1839-death 1914. Also called “Doddy” and “Willy” by his parents, who were apparently fond of using nicknames. William was a graduate of Christ’s College at Cambridge University, and became a banker, after Charles Darwin guaranteed the sum of 5,000 pounds enabling William to become a partner in a bank. William married Sara Sedgwick from Massachusetts, in November 1877. They had no children.
Anne “Annie” Elizabeth birth 1841- death 1851. Anne died of tuberculosis. This deeply challenged Darwin’s belief in Christianity. Anne Elizabeth 1849
Mary Eleanor birth & death-1842. Died a few weeks after birth.
Henrietta Emma (Etty) Henrietta 1849 Henrietta 1851
birth 1843- death 1930. Henrietta read proofs for Darwin when she was 18, and edited his manuscript for the Descent of Man. She also edited her mother Emma’s personal letters and had them published in 1904 as Emma Darwin: wife of Charles Darwin. A Century of Family Letters. Henrietta married Richard Buckley Litchfield in 1871. They had no children.
George Howard Birth1845- death 1912. Studied at Trinity College. George was an astronomer and mathematician. He made statistical studies of cousin marriages and studied the evolution and origins of the solar system. George wrote a paper on the age of the earth that lead to his nomination to the Royal Society in 1877 and his becoming a Fellow in 1879. In 1883 he became the Plumian Professor of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy at Cambridge University, and was a Barrister-at-Law. George married Martha (Maud) du Puy from Philadelphia. They had two sons, and two daughters.
George Howard Darwin 1851
Elizabeth birth 1847- death 1926 [1928 according to Keynes] Lizzie, Betty, Bessy Apparently had communication difficulties with words and pronunciation. After living awhile in London near Erasmus Darwin, Elizabeth bought Tromer Lodge, a house in Downe near Henrietta’s residence, in 1868. Elizabeth never married and had no children. Elizabeth Darwin
Francis birth 1848- death1925. Also called Frank Studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, first studying mathematics, then studying and graduating in natural sciences in 1870. Studied medicine at St. Georges Medical School, London, earning M.B. in 1875, but did not practice medicine. Darwin nominated Francis to the Linnean Society in 1875 and promoted a paper Francis sent to the Royal Society. He became a botanist specializing in plant physiology. He helped his father with his experiments on plants and was of great influence in Darwin's writing of “The Power of Movement in Plants” (1880). He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1879, and taught at Cambridge University from 1884, as a Professor of Botany, until 1904.
He married Amy Ruck but she died when their first child, Bernard, was born in September of 1876. Bernard was raised by Emma and Charles Darwin, his grandparents. Francis married Ellen Crofts in September of 1883, and they had one daughter, Frances in 1886. He edited many of Darwin's correspondence and published Life and Letters of Charles Darwin in 1887, and More Letters of Charles Darwin in 1903. He also edited and published Darwin’s Autobiography. Francis was knighted in 1913. Sir Francis Darwin
Leonard birth1850 -death 1943. Leonard considered himself the stupidest of the children. He was sent to Clapham School in 1862 and joined the army after school. Attended Woolwich Military Academy and trained as military engineer. He became a soldier in the Royal Engineers in 1871, and was a Major from 1890 onwards. He taught at the School of Military Engineering at Chatham from 1877 to 1882, and served in the Ministry of War, Intelligence Division, from 1885-90. Emma and Leonard Darwin
Leonard married Elizabeth Fraser in July of 1882. Later he married Charlotte Mildred Massingberd (1868–1940), but had no children with either wife. Leonard later became a Liberal-unionist MP for the town of Lichfield in Staffordshire 1892-95. He was interested in photography and surveying. [Browne, Power, p.333] He was an officer of the Royal Geographical Society from 1908 to 1911 and then its President. He was Chairman of the British Eugenics Society between 1911 and 1928. Served as President of the First International Congress of Eugenics in 1912.
Horace birth 1851 -death 1928. His schooling was interrupted by illness. Around 1860 the apparent illness may have been motivated by feelings for Camilla Ludwig, the Darwin’s young German governess. He had a tutor before entering Trinity College in 1868. He graduated in 1874, later than normally expected. Horace suffered from self-doubts about his abilities. Horace Darwin
Horace was also a designer of scientific instruments. In 1885 he founded the leading instrument maker Cambridge Scientific Instrument Company. He was the Mayor of Cambridge from 1896-97, and was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1903. Horace married Emma Farrer in January of 1880 and they had three children.
Charles Waring birth 1856- death 1858. Died of scarlet fever. Emma and Charles Waring Darwin
On the Origin of Species When Darwin returned to England in 1836 he was welcomed by the scientific fraternity as a colleague and was promptly made a fellow of the Geological Society. The next year he was elected to its governing council. In 1838 Darwin was elected to the Athenaeum, the exclusive club for men distinguished in literature, art, or science, and in 1839 he was elected to the Royal Society. Through his older brother, Erasmus, he met the historian Thomas Carlyle and the feminist Harriet Martineau. He was also a friend of Charles Babbage, whose computing machine was one of a host of scientific interests.
At this time, however, Darwin began to lead something of a double life. To the world he was busy preparing his Journal of Researches into the Geology and Natural History of the Various Countries Visited by H.M.S. Beagle, which was published in 1839. This book, modeled in part on von Humboldt's, established the lucid style enlivened by the sharp descriptions that makes all of Darwin's works both accessible and convincing. Darwin was also preparing his geology books and superintending the analysis and publication by specialists of The Zoology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (published between 1839 and 1843 with the help of a £1,000 government grant).
Privately Darwin had begun a remarkable series of notebooks in which he initiated a set of questions and answers about "the species problem." He proceeded to collect facts about species through letters and discussions with breeders, gardeners, naturalists, and zookeepers, as well as through extensive reading. Darwin kept this interest secret while he gathered evidence to substantiate his theory of organic evolution. He was mindful of the fate of other unorthodox scientists. He jotted in his notebook, "Mention persecution of early astronomers--then add chief good of individual scientific men, is to push their science a few years in advance only of their age." Darwin's ideas were not only scientifically radical but also could have been interpreted as actionable under the laws governing blasphemy and sedition.
England at the time was intensely evangelical, and the natural world was understood as one in which the spirit of God could be seen in the creation of new species of plants and animals that appeared to come into existence to replace those that became extinct. Darwin gradually became intellectually uncomfortable with this view of life as he confronted puzzling evidence. Upon his return from the voyage Darwin had turned over his specimens to cataloging experts in Cambridge and London. In South America he had found fossils of extinct armadillos that were similar but not identical to the living animals. Argentina he had seen species vary geographically; for example, the giant ostriches (rheas) on the pampas were replaced to the south in Patagonia by much smaller species, both of which were akin to but different from the African ostrich. He had been disturbed by the fact that the birds and tortoises of the Galápagos Islands off the western coast of Ecuador tended to resemble species found on the nearby continent, while inhabitants of similar neighboring islands in the Galapagos had quite different animal populations.
The last of Darwin's sequels to the Origin, The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (1872), was an attempt to erase the last barrier presumed to exist between human and nonhuman animals--the idea that the expression of such feelings as suffering, anxiety, grief, despair, joy, love, devotion, hatred, and anger is unique to human beings. Darwin connected studies of facial muscles and the emission of sounds with the corresponding emotional states in man and then argued that the same facial movements and sounds in nonhuman animals express similar emotional states. This book laid the groundwork for the study of ethology, neurobiology, and communication theory in psychology.
Later Works Throughout his career Darwin wrote two kinds of books--those with a broad canvas, such as the evolution quartet, and those with a narrow focus, such as the treatise on barnacles. His interests shifted over the years from geology to zoology to botany. In these later works, however, he included theoretical interpretation, whereas his earlier works had contained mostly data. In On the Various Contrivances by Which British and Foreign Orchids Are Fertilised by Insects (1862) he demonstrated that plants exhibit complicated characteristics that are adaptive and that increase the survival of a species. One such characteristic, for example, is cross-pollination (the mechanism by which pollen is transferred from one flower to another).
In explaining the interdependence of bees and orchids, Darwin noted that flowers that are pollinated by the wind have little color, while those that need to attract insects have brightly colored petals and sweet-smelling nectarines. In The Different Forms of Flowers on Plants of the Same Species (1877) he observed that flowers in some species differ in the lengths of their anthers and styles, which is another adaptation for cross-pollination. Darwin experimented in his garden at Down House in Kent where he raised two large beds of Linaria vulgarism, one from cross-pollinated and the other from self-pollinated seeds, both of which he obtained from the same parent plant. He observed, "To my surprise, the crossed plants when fully grown were plainly taller and more vigorous than the self-fertilized ones."
He continued horticultural experiments for another 12 years on 57 species and described his results in The Effects of Cross and Self Fertilization in the Vegetable Kingdom (1876). Here he developed the theme that there are hereditary advantages in having two sexes in both the plant and animal kingdoms--to ensure cross-fertilization, which, as he knew from experiments, produced healthier, more vigorous offspring. In On the Movements and Habits of Climbing Plants(1875) Darwin advanced an adaptive explanation for the tendency of the stems of certain plants to spiral toward heat and light, bending either clockwise or counterclockwise.
Through experimentation he had discovered that a twining plant would not twine around an object larger than six inches in diameter. This characteristic Darwin interpreted as preventing a vine from climbing up a large tree where the shade from the upper branches would deprive it of sunlight. Still interested in the mechanism that enables some plants to climb and bend, Darwin continued experimenting and pinpointed "some matter in the upper part which is acted upon by light, and which transmits its effects to the lower part." He reported these researches in The Power of Movement in Plants (1880). A chance observation of flies caught on the leaf of the common sundew initiated Darwin's investigation of carnivorous plants. He was especially impressed by the fact that the living cells of plants possess a similar capacity for irritability and response as the cells of animals.
Darwin published these findings in Insectivorous Plants (1875). In his last botanical work, The Formation of Vegetable Mould, Through the Action of Worms, which appeared only six months before his death in 1881, he demonstrated the service that worms perform in digesting leaves and recalculating organic matter. It was a pioneering study in the field of quantitative ecology. Darwin worked alone at home, leading the life of an independent scientist (a privileged existence open to a fortunate few in Victorian England). Money from Robert Darwin made it unnecessary for Charles to seek employment. After his return from the voyage Darwin knew he would never become a clergyman like his mentor, Henslow. Nor would he remain a bachelor like his brother, Erasmus, who was a man-about-town.
Darwin noted in The Descent that the young of both sexes resemble the adult female in most species and reasoned that males are more evolutionarily advanced than females. His attitude toward women colored his scientific insights. "The female is less eager than the male," he wrote, "She is coy," and when she takes part in choosing a mate, she chooses "not the male which is most attractive to her, but the one which is least distasteful."
Comfortable in English society, Darwin treasured his place and feared alienating those who he knew would be offended by his theory. He benefited at the beginning of his career from the scientific fraternity in London, who helped him understand the specimens from the Beagle, and he appreciated his intellectual give and take with Henslow, Hooker, Lyell, and Huxley. He was a beneficiary of this conservative English society, and his fear of ostracism was one of the forces that prevented him from publishing his theory sooner. He also dreaded the hurt he knew that his ideas would inflict on his close friend Henslow and especially on Emma, both devout Christians, for whom his theory was heresy. The conflict between his science and his realization of what publication would imply for the society he was so much a part of manifested itself in physical pain. The once adventurous young naturalist was a semi-invalid before his 40th year.
DEATH OF CHARLES DARWIN Darwin's illness has been the subject of extensive speculation. Some of the symptoms--painful flatulence, vomiting, insomnia, palpitations--appeared in force as soon as he began his first transmutation notebook, in 1837. Although he was exposed to insects in South America and could possibly have caught Chagas' or some other tropical disease, a careful analysis of the attacks in the context of his activities points to psychogenic origins.
Throughout the next decades Darwin's maladies waxed and waned. But during the last decade of his life, when he concentrated on botanical research and no longer speculated about evolution, he experienced the best health since his years at Cambridge. Darwin made his home at Down into his laboratory, where he experimented in his garden and observed the local fauna. Dogs and cats were part of the Darwin household, which also was not without a child under school age between 1839 and 1856.
By no means a recluse, Darwin often attended scientific meetings in London; he was away from home for about 2,000 days between 1842 and 1881. He was a member of 57 leading foreign learned societies and was no less a prominent figure in the village of Downe, treasurer of the Friendly Club and a Justice of the Peace. Darwin sent his children to village dances, and, even though he was a skeptical agnostic, he participated in church functions that were part of village life.
Darwin died at Down House on April 19, 1882. Within hours the news reached London, and a Parliamentary petition won him burial in Westminster Abbey. By this time the theory of evolution through natural selection was generally accepted. His ideas were modified by later developments in genetics and molecular biology, but his work remains central to modern evolutionary theory.
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