JULY - Events sorted by day of the month:

July 01 1858
On this date Charles Darwin first went public about his views on the evolution of species. The papers of Darwin and Wallace were read at a meeting of the Linnean Society in London. The following were read at the Society meeting: (1) Extracts from two sections of Darwin's 1839 manuscript on species variation, titled "The Variation of Organic Beings under Domestication and in their Natural State," and "On the Variation of Organic Beings in the State of Nature; on the Natural Means of Selection; on the Comparison of Domestic Races and true Species". (2) An abstract from a letter Darwin wrote to Professor Asa Gray of Harvard in September 1857 that again stated his views on species variation. (3) The essay that Wallace wrote at Ternate Island in the Malay Archipelago in February 1858, titled - "On the Tendency of Varieties to Depart indefinitely from the Original Type". The reaction to this meeting was a mixture of shock, excitement, and stunned silence.

July 05 1844
Perhaps fearing poor health would get the better of him, Darwin wrote an "In the event of my sudden death" letter to his wife, Emma. He requested that she put ú400 towards the publication of his essay and promote its publication. The essay was to be given to a capable person, along with all his books and notes on the subject. As far as an editor was concern, Darwin felt that Lyell would by far be the best choice, seeing how he was both a geologist and naturalist. Other candidates included Edward Forbes, Professor of Botany at King's College in London, or his old friend Revd. John Stevens Henslow at Cambridge.

July 08 1836
H.M.S. Beagle arrived at St. Helena Island where they remained for five days. Darwin found the island to be a desolate place, essentially a giant mountain of rocky lava rock, except inland where the scenery was more akin to the landscape of Wales. He spent most of his time here exploring the geology of the island

July 08 1847
Another daughter, Elizabeth Darwin, was born.

July 09 1845
Another son, George Darwin, was born. Darwin started working on a revised edition of his Journal of Researches. This edition included a new section in which he commented on the disgusting and reprehensible nature of slavery.

July 12 1843
Emma's father, Josiah Wedgwood II, died. Darwin and Emma attended the funeral at Maer, and then visited The Mount at Shrewsbury.

July 15 1817
Darwin's mother, Susannah, died when he was eight years old.

July 15 1838
Darwin left Scotland in good health and high spirits and paid a visit back home at Shrewsbury. He told his father about the transmutation theories he had been working on. He also brought up the subject of marrying his cousin, Emma Wedgwood. His father reminded him that the Wedgwoods were far more religious than the Darwins, especially the women. If he was going to marry Emma Wedgwood, it would be prudent to keep his non-religious opinions to himself. While Darwin was at The Mount he started his "D" and "M" Notebooks. The D Notebook focused on species reproduction and the origin of adaptation, while the M Notebook continued with the origin of adaptation, and then went on to the origin of man, and the expression of emotions.

July 18 1833
More mail arrived and the third load of specimens was sent to Revd. Henslow. This shipment consisted of about eighty species of birds, twenty quadrupeds, four barrels of skins and plants, geological specimens, and some fish. By this time Darwin was getting tired of this side of South America and wanted to see the Andes Mountains on the west coast.

July 18 1842
Still not feeling better, Darwin returned to London and rewrote his rough sketch, expanding it a little. His spare time was used up in house hunting.

July 19 1835
H.M.S. Beagle arrived at Lima, Peru. Darwin looked around the city and was shocked at the state of decay all around him. The next few weeks were spent taking on provisions for the trip across the Pacific ocean.

July 19 1836
They stayed at Ascencion Island, which was inhabited entirely by British marines and a few liberated Africans from slave ships, for four days. The entire crew was now very anxious to get back to England.

July 20 1858
The Darwin family went on holiday to the Island of Wight. Seeing that his book had grown to huge proportions, Darwin started writing a shorter abstract of it.

July 22 1842
At last he located a suitable house in Kent. It was called Down House, and he purchased it (rather, his father did) for about ú2,000. It was just a mile or two south of the village of Downe, Kent with a population of about 450 people.

July 23 1834
The two ships arrived at Valparaiso, Chile near the city of Santiago. Darwin was very glad to be in a warmer climate and his stomach was happier to be in calmer seas. Both ships stayed here for a few weeks to be refitted for the Pacific ocean crossing. Darwin met up with an old Shrewsbury classmate, Richard Corfield, who owned a house in town and let him stay there. He was not very impressed with the surrounding landscape.

July 23 1836
Capt. FitzRoy was concern that he may have taken faulty measurements at Salvador so he ordered the Beagle on a detour back to South America.

July 26 1843
In a letter to George Waterhouse Darwin hinted at his belief in transmutation. He was replying to Waterhouse's questions on animal classification methods. In a very bold move, Darwin stated in no uncertain terms that the classification of species should be done according to their genealogical relationship based upon common descent.

July 29 1838
Darwin rode out to the Wedgwood estate to see Emma. They spent much time together, engaged in intimate conversation, but he did not bring up the topic of marriage. He did, however, do exactly what his father told him not to do - he expressed his religious views to Emma. In brief, he told her he believed that nature was not influenced by divine intervention, but rather, nature worked according to specific natural laws.

Events some time during this month:

July (about) 1837
Darwin began his "B" Notebook in which he put down his thoughts on the subject of transmutation. In this notebook Darwin examined four general questions --- what was the evidence for species transmutation?- how did species adapt to a changing environment?- how were new species formed?- how one could account for the similarities between different species? One of the highlights of the B Notebook was his analogy of a branching tree to represent common descent of all species.

July 1857
Darwin was still working on his essay, and just finished with the chapter on species variation. The "short essay" was quickly turning into a proper book.

July 1861
Darwin took a break from writing his book on animal domestication and went on holiday with his daughter, Henrietta, to Torquay on the Devon coast. While there he spent many an hour examining the way insects pollinate orchids in the fields around the town. He noticed that only certain insects pollinate one particular orchid variety. When he returned to Down House he immediately switched from breeding pigeons to raising orchids. During the Victorian era, orchids were all the rage, and as soon as word got out that Darwin was raising them he found himself being flooded with specimens from all over the country. What he set out to do was study how orchids used intricate petal designs to attract bees and moths to their pollen. How did such a relationship evolve? The subject fascinated him! Writing a book on the subject was too much for Darwin to resist.

July 1875
"Insectivorous Plants" was published and sold faster and better than "Origin of Species".

July 1877
"Different Forms of Flowers on Plants" was completed.

Summer 1825
Darwin spent the summer working as an assistant in his father's medical practice.

Summer 1826
Darwin finished his first year of medical school and spent the summer hiking in the Welsh hills near his home in Shrewsbury. During this time Darwin read Revd. Gilbert White's, "The Natural History of Selborne" and he came away from this book with a much greater appreciation for wildlife. Darwin started making detailed observations of birds and kept a notebook of their habits.

Summer 1827
Darwin started to take an interest in one of his sisters best friends, Fanny Owen; daughter of William Owen of Woodhouse. They spent much time riding horses together, shooting birds, playing billiards, and engaging in mild flirtations.

Summer 1828
Darwin spent the first part of summer at home in Shrewsbury. In June he went to the Welsh coast at Cardigan Bay, taking a math tutor with him so he could bone up on algebra, a subject he found very difficult to grasp. The tutoring only lasted a few weeks, at which time Darwin got back to serious business - collected beetles and fly fishing. He also went on a reading tour at Barmouth with his Cambridge friends, John Herbert and Thomas Butler. During this tour Darwin confided with Herbert that he had serious doubts about entering the clergy. Towards the end of summer he spent some time with Fanny Owen at her father's estate.

Summer 1829
Darwin spent the summer at home, visiting Fanny at Woodhouse, and hunting pheasants at Maer Hall (the estate of his uncle, Josiah Wedgwood II). During this time his brother, Erasmus, decided not to pursue a medical practice and his father put him up with a generous pension.

Summer 1837
The next few months were spent deep in thought about transmutation. Darwin started trying to figure out how plants and animals crossed from mainland continents to islands far out in the ocean. During this time he only spoke to his brother about his transmutation ideas.

Summer 1840
Being quite ill all summer and confined to bed, Darwin got very little work done on his book writing projects or his transmutation research.

Summer 1841
By this time Darwin saw the need to get out of London and into the clean open countryside. His father agreed to buy him a house. The summer was spent looking for a new place out in the country, but still close enough to London so he would be able to visit his fellow naturalists.

Summer 1862
Darwin spent the summer quietly working with his orchids, seeds, dissecting animals, and examining their skeletons. Orchids now became his passion and during the summer he had a greenhouse built at the house for his growing collection.

Summer (early) 1881
Charles Darwin, his life's work now complete, was bored due to there being nothing left to challenge him. His wife, Emma, took him on holiday to the Lake District to cheer him up. It did no good.

Summer (late) 1867
By now Darwin's theory of evolution was established in most of Europe.