|CHARLES DARWIN: A BIOGRAPHY. |
Date and place of birth: February 12, 1809, Shrewsbury, England. Parents: Father: Robert Warring Darwin, a physician, son of Erasmus Darwin, physician and author. Mother: Susannah Wedgwood, daughter of Josiah Wedgwood, the founder of the Wedgwood China factory. She died when Charles was eight years old. Financial and social standing: a family of means, upper middle class. Schooling: Public School at Shrewsbury (headmaster, Dr. Samuel Butler a classicist with little tolerance for science). Medical school at the University of Edinburgh, 1825-27. Main interest: outdoor activities. Friends: Robert Jameson, geologist. Robert Grant, zoologist. School of Divinity at Christ College at the University of Cambridge, 1827. Graduated in 1831. Main interest: geological survey with Adam Sedgwick, professor of geology at Cambridge. Frequent outdoor studies with the cleric botanist John Stevens Henslow. Major events in his life: 1. The voyage of the H.M.S. Beagle December 27, 1831, from Plymouth, England, with captain Robert FitzRoy. The purpose of the voyage was to survey of the coastlines of South America and brief study of the Pacific Islands. Return: October 2, 1836 at Falmouth, England.
2. Marriage: On January 29, 1839, he married his first cousin Emma Wedgwood. In 1842 they moved into Down House in the village of Downe, Kent, close to London. Charles and Emma Darwin had 10 children, seven of them, five sons and two daughters survived into adulthood. Of the five sons, George, Francis, and Horace be came scientists, Leonard was a major in the royal army, while the fifth son, William Erasmus pursued no professional interests. Of the two daughters, Henrietta married, while Elizabeth, remained single. and stayed at Down with her parents.