1809 February 12
Charles Robert Darwin was born at The Mount in Shrewsbury,
Shropshire, England. He was named after his uncle (Charles)
who had died a few years back, and his father (Robert).
Darwin attended Mr. Case's grammar school in Shrewsbury. He
was a rather shy and reserved boy who invented wild stories,
and showed off his athletic skills to the other boys. He was
also very mischievous, and enjoyed being the center of attention
in the household.
1817 July 15
Darwin's mother, Susannah, died when he was eight years old.
The burial of a Dragoon soldier outside Mr. Case's school
at Saint Chad's parish church made a lasting impression on
Darwin joined his brother, Erasmus, at Shrewsbury Grammar
School, run by the Revd. Samuel Butler. The focus of study
was Greek and Roman reading and grammar. He developed a great
fondness of Shakespeare and Byron during this time. As an
aside, Darwin was referred to as "Bobby" by his family during
He and his brother setup a chemistry lab in the tool shed
of the garden. Darwin enjoyed chemistry a great deal and it
was during this time that he learned the basic principles
of scientific experimentation.
His brother, Erasmus, left home to study medicine at Christ's
College, Cambridge University.
1825 June 17
Darwin's father took him out of Shrewsbury school due to his
poor grades and his having no direction in life. It is ironic
to think that at this time his father castigated Darwin for
his idleness, claiming that if he carried on this way he would
end up being a disgrace to himself and his family. Apparently
Darwin cared for nothing but shooting birds, playing with
dogs, and catching rats!
Darwin spent the summer working as an assistant in his father's