Charles Darwin
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Charles Darwin (1809-1882) put forward the theory that evolution was by natural selection and all life is related.

Darwin took water cure treatment during 1857-1959 at Dr Edward Wickstead Lane’s Hydropathic Establishment’ at Moor Park, near Farnham. At the time the park was owned by John Frederick Bateman (1810-1889), a civil engineer. On a scrap of paper in May 1859, just before he published his book, Darwin wrote what he needed for a week at Moor Park and listing medicines, washing things, stationery and clothes (The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. ( He wrote that he played billiards here and said "I really think I shall make a point of coming here for a fortnight occasionally, as the country is very pleasant for walking". He wrote that "it is really quite astonishing & utterly unaccountable the good this one week has done me", but later became more ill and told his son that he was unable to climb more than halfway up the nearby Crooksbury Hill. Moor Park and Darwin are mentioned in Mrs Robinson’s Disgrace, The Private Diary of a Victorian Lady (2012) by Kate Summerscale.

Darwin put forward a paper in 1858 at the same time as Alfred Russell Wallace reached the same conclusion. Both men had their papers read at the Linnaean Society. Darwin wrote to Alfred Russell Wallace on the 1 May 1858, “We have thought much alike & to a certain extent have come to similar conclusions.” Wallace wrote “I am more Darwinian than Darwin himself”. But on the 24th November 1859 Darwin was first to publish his book On the Origin of Species in 500 pages. The Darwin-Wallace medal is now awarded annually on the 12th February, Darwin’s birthday.The Darwin Correspondence Project exists to publish fully annotated transcriptions of all known letters written both by and to Charles Darwin. These are published in chronological order in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. When complete the edition will comprise approximately thirty volumes.

The Darwin Correspondence Project publishes transcriptions of all known letters written both by and to Charles Darwin, published as The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. When complete this will comprise nearly 30 volumes.

2009 was the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his masterpiece, On the Origin of Species. A new £78m wing of the Darwin Centre at the Natural History Museum opened to the public on the 15th September.

Godalming Museum © 2009