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CHARLES DARWIN
Waterton Connections

See also Charles Darwin - Some Influences.

■ John Edmonstone, who was taught taxidermy by Charles Waterton and who went on to impart this knowledge to Charles Darwin.

Extracts from Darwin's letters.

a. "I am going to learn to stuff birds, from a blackamoor, I believe an old servant of Dr. Duncan: it has the recommendation of cheapness, if nothing else, as he only charges one guinea, for an hour every day for two months." Charles Darwin, in a letter to Susan Darwin, 29th January 1826. (1)

b. "By the way, a negro lived in Edinburgh, who had travelled with Waterton, and gained his livelihood by stuffing birds, which he did excellently: he gave me lessons for payment, and I used often to sit with him, for he was a very pleasant and intelligent man." (Darwin does not mention John Edmonstone by name.) (2)
See also John Edmonstone - Darwin's Negro 'Bird-Stuffer'.

■ Waterton's Household
Francis Darwin wrote in The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Volume I:

"To give some idea of the retired life which now began for my father at Down, I have noted from his diary the short periods during which he was away from home between the autumn of 1842, when he came to Down, and the end of 1854.
One of his trips away from home was this:
1845 September 15. - Six weeks, Shrewsbury, Lincolnshire, York, the Dean of Manchester, Waterton, Chatsworth.
"I also visited Waterton at Walton Hall, and was extremely amused with my visit there. He is an amusing strange fellow; at our early dinner, our party consisted of two Catholic priests and two Mulattresses!* He is past sixty years old, and the day before ran down and caught a leveret in a turnip-field. It is a fine old house, and the lake swarms with water-fowl."
(* Helen and Eliza Edmonstone, the sisters of his wife Anne. Their mother, Helen, was the daughter of a Scot, William Reid, and Princess Minda, the daughter of an Arowak chief.)


■ Waterton's Essayss on Natural History
Waterton's Essays were admired for their accuracy in detailed observation, in addition to the intimate and vivid way in which they were written. Charles Dickens was 'very partial' to them. (3) Not just Dickens, Darwin too, was an admirer of the Essays. He praised 'such discussions and observations on what the world would call trifling points of Natural History which to me appear very interesting'. (4)

Notes
1. Letter from Charles Darwin to his sister, Susan Darwin 29 January 1826. PDF document.
2. The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Volume I (of II), Edited by His Son Author: Charles Darwin. Editor: Francis Darwin. Published 1887 by Darwin's publisher John Murray. PDF document.
3. Percy Hetherington Fitzgerald, Notebooks (Stoneyhurst College). Reference extracted from Charles Waterton 1782 - 1865, Traveller and Conservationist, p.3, by Julia Blackburn, The Bodley Head, 1989.
4. Charles Darwin in a letter Lyell in 1845, Darwin Life and Letters, Vol. 1, p. 343-4. Reference extracted from Charles Waterton 1782 - 1865, Traveller and Conservationist, p.3, by Julia Blackburn, The Bodley Head, 1989.

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A small selection of websites about Charles Darwin
. Portraits of Charles Darwin - Chronological list of portraits, Wikipedi.
. mirfaces.com/charles-darwin-the-man-behind-the-evolution.
. The Friends of Charles Darwin, Charlie is our Darwin..
. The Evolution Institute. The Top Ten Anti-slavery Quotes by Charles Darwin.
Sites accessed 25 Aug 2020.



Books about Walton, Charles Waterton, Guyana, and more!
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books about Walton,
Charles Waterton,
Guyana and more.
• click here •
(Offered for sale by
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Portrait of Charles Robert Darwin Laura Russell
Portrait of Charles Robert Darwin
by Laura Russell
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