Darwin Sets Sail on The Beagle

BOOK DEVON HOTELS

History on 27th December


Last Native Manx Speaker Dies

Britainís Worst Avalanche

Darwin Sets Sail on The Beagle

Plymouth, Devon The 27th of December 1831 AD

The future of Charles Darwin , and of scientific intellectual development in 19th century Britain, turned on a recommendation from his friend and mentor at Cambridge , John Stevens Henslow. Captain FitRoy of HMS Beagle had been searching for a geologist to accompany him on the shipís planned 2-year hydrographic survey, to add observations on the lands visited to those the navy would take of the oceans: Henslow, a botanist, suggested Darwin, then aged 22, who had recently graduated from Christís College after unsuccessful medical studies in Edinburgh .
Darwin had good geological knowledge, but was equally adept in the life sciences, fitting him ideally to the work he would face. Against his fatherís better judgement, Darwin signed on for the unpaid role.
HMS Beagle should have sailed in late October, but her excellent provisioning was behind schedule; the new date of December 10 was missed because of bad weather; and the next, December 26 was aborted as the crew was missing presumed drunk. Thus eventually Darwinís great voyage began on December 27, Beagle leaving Plymouth Sound heading for Madeira then South America. The voyage around the world in fact took five years, not two. Darwin spent some three-and-a-half years ashore, gathering the data and observations that would eventually lead after much contemplation at his country home in Downe, Kent , to the publication of The Origin of Species .

More famous dates here

3515 views since 1st December 2010

Brit Quote:
Cast is everything. - Ridley Scott
More Quotes

On this day:
Irish Catholic Uprising - 1641, Battle of Trafalgar - 1805, First Women Peers Enter Lords - 1958, 1st British Nuclear Powered Sub launched - 1960, The Aberfan Disaster - 1966
More dates from British history

click here to view all the British counties

County Pages