The Voyage of the Beagle. by Charles Darwin. June, [Etext #] [Date last updated: September 12, ]. Project Gutenberg’s Etext of The Voyage of the. Hydrographic Office of the Admiralty Early H.M.S. Beagle history. About the second Beagle Survey The search for a Naturalist Charles Darwin receives a letter. Donor challenge: Your generous donation will be matched 2-to-1 right now. Your $5 becomes $15! Dear Internet Archive Supporter,. I ask only once a year.

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Events leading up to Darwin’s Beagle Voyage: How did Charles Darwin end up setting out on a voyage of discovery around the world aboard H. Most descriptions of this turn of events start out with Capt. Robert FitzRoy seeking a naturalist to accompany him on the voyage in the early summer ofbut the story actually begins much earlier than this – to a time before Charles Darwin was even born.

The emergence of Britain as the uncontested ruler of the seas after the Napoleonic Wars is where our story begins. With this in mind, we turn back to the yearfour years before Charles Darwin was born. Ever since the French Revolution ofthe nations of Europe had been maneuvering to reestablish the balance of power throughout the continent. German and Austrian forces were invading France on and off since and Great Britain had maintained economic pressure on France by establishing a trade blockade.

France made inroads into northern Italy and Egypt near the turn of the century, but their gains were soon lost. This series of events lead us to October of The naval fleets of France and Spain tried to gain control of the English Channel in order to facilitate Napoleon’s invasion of Britain.

The British Navy responded to this threat by sending a fleet of warships under the command of Admiral Horatio Nelson to confront the French and Spanish fleets off the coast of Spain. On 20 October the French fleet tried to maneuver to the south, but Nelson caught them off Cape Chxrles the next day.

One of the largest battles in naval history ensued, with Admiral Nelson’s fleet of 27 ships going against a fleet of 33 ships 18 French and 15 Spanish.

In the end, the French and Spanish fleets were crushed. About 1, British seamen were killed or wounded, but not a single British warship was lost. The defeat at the Battle of Trafalgar ended Charlew plans to invade England, and the Napoleonic Wars came to a close ten years later at the Battle of Waterloo where the French Army was routed by Anglo-German forces.

France surrendered soon after, and Napoleon was exiled to the island of St. Helena where he died in At the close of the Napoleonic Wars Britain found itself as the only nation with a navy large enough to police the seas, and the focus of the British Navy turned from making war, to making trade safe for their growing empire.

This was accomplished in three ways: The most important of these was the production of accurate charts and maps of the coastlines and harbors of countries around the world.

Thomas Hurd Hydrographer of the Navy, outlined those regions of the world that required the most attention, and South America was near the top of his list.

The Spanish colonies in South America, having just won their independence from Spain and Portugal, were eager to establish economic relations with Britain. The feeling was darsin, as the British Empire was eager giagem locate new resources dadwin fuel their industrial revolution, and had a keen interest in the immense mineral wealth South America had to offer. Diplomatic relations were soon established with Argentina, Brazil, and Chile, and in short order the British government was flooding South America with cash.


At this time much of the coastline of South America remained uncharted, and as new trade relations were quickly being established with South America, creating accurate charts and maps of the region was a top priority. There was, however, a big problem. The current charting techniques used by the British Navy were inadequate for the task at hand. Back in the increased need for reliable charts during the French Revolution led to the development of the Hydrographic Office of the Admiralty.

Up until then the commanders of British ships had to chzrles their own maps and charts, often from the chart sellers of central London many of which were of dubious accuracy. With the ivagem of the Hydrographic Office the British Navy had its own map department, engravers, and printing facilities.

Still, the maps that were produced were of modest quality, and errors were quite common. Thomas Hurd realized that most of the naval officers currently engaged in survey work were not suited to chart making. An elite corps of dedicated officers was needed, and Hurd slowly put together a group of scientific and mathematical officers to carry out Britain’s chart making endeavors. It was slow going at first, as Hurd found it difficult to recruit Masters and Midshipmen who were qualified for such technical work.

In time Hurd assembled a large enough group of qualified men to take on the task and on 7 Charlew he established the “Corps of Surveying Officers. One of these survey ships was to be named H. The Beagle was engaged in three survey missions from the years to Charles Darwin was naturalist on the second survey.

The chronology of events, from the creation of the Beagle to her return from the first survey, went as follows: Barracouta the Beagle’s sister ship.

Beagle was launched from the Woolwich Dockyards on the River Thames. She was kept in ordinary in reserve for five years. Beagle, under the command of Pringle Stokes and accompanied by the Adventure, a storage ship commanded by Captain Phillip Parker King, set dwrwin on its first survey mission to South America.

A young man of 23 years of age named Robert FitzRoy was a Lieutenant on this voyage. Pringle Stokes cracked under the stress and shot himself. He died on the morning of the 12th. Robert FitzRoy was ddo in command of the Beagle. Francis Beaufort to head the Hydrographic Office he replaced Capt.

Through him the Hydrographic Office developed a far more scientific character than it had under Thomas Hurd. Among his most notable accomplishments was the development of the “Beaufort Scale”, a means by which one could judge the speed of the wind visually.

Robert FitzRoy made wide use of it during the Beagle’s second survey.

Aventuras e descobertas de Darwin a bordo do Beagle

Beagle and Adventure return to England at Plymouth. November After the Beagle was paid off she was laid in ordinary at Devonport Dockyard.

Chanticleer one of the six survey ships built in was scheduled for the second South America survey, but because she was in such poor condition the Beagle was selected instead. The Chanticleer was eventually sold to the Customs Office in The ship was taken to the Plymouth Dockyards for a major refit and Capt. FitzRoy oversaw the work, using much of his own money to guarantee that no expense was viqgem. The orders for the next survey were to continue the charting work in South America, as well as run a chain of chronometric readings around the globe.


What is not widely known is that Capt. FitzRoy had a personal mission of his own.

The voyage of the Beagle

During the first Beagle survey he had brought back four native Fuegians from Tierra del Fuego and had them educated in England. It was his hope that these Fuegians would one day return to their homeland and, with the aid of a British missionary, develop an outpost in that remote part of the world. A letter sent to the Revd. Richard Matthews the missionary selected to go summarizes the situation nicely: Some of them were brought hither by Capt.

These individuals, through Capt. FitzRoy continues the outline of the plan: The X that were brought to England were: Fuegia Basket – female, aged 9 years. Of the Woolya tribe. Jemmy Button – male, aged 14 years. York Minster – male, aged 26 years.

Of the Tekeenica tribe. Boat Memory – male, aged 20 years.

– Beagle Voyage

Died in the Naval Hospital in Plymouth after a smallpox vaccination. During the summer of Capt. FitzRoy foresaw that the next Beagle voyage would present an ideal opportunity for collecting specimens of natural history. In his narrative of the Beagle voyage FitzRoy wrote: Captain Beaufort approved of the suggestion, and wrote to Professor Peacock, of Cambridge, who consulted with a friend, Professor Henslow, and he named Mr.

Charles Darwin, grandson of Dr. Darwin the poet, as a young man of promising ability, extremely fond of geology, and indeed all branches of natural history.

In consequence an offer was made to Mr. Darwin to be my guest on board, which he accepted conditionally; permission was obtained for his embarkation, and an order was given by the Admirality that he should be borne on the ship’s books for provisions. The conditions asked by Mr.

Darwin were, that he should be at liberty to leave the Beagle and retire from the Expedition when he thought proper, and that he should pay a fair share of the expenses of my table.

It is likely that Capt. Apparently Beaufort was at a loss as to who to suggest, so he sought the advice of his old Cambridge friend, George Peacock. In a letter dated 6 13th? In the letter he informed Henslow about Capt.

FitzRoy’s plans to survey the South American coastline, and that the Captain was seeking a well educated naturalist as a companion during the voyage. Peacock suggested that Revd. Leonard Jenyns may be a good choice and would bring back many good specimens for the museums. However, if he could not go, he wished to know if Henslow could recommend someone else. It turned out that Revd. Jenyns was quite busy with his parish duties and declined the offer, but Henslow and he recommended a young and promising naturalist named Charles Darwin.

Darwin recently graduated from the University of Cambridge in April with Bachelor of Arts degree, and had been spending much of his free time reading books on natural history. Perhaps more than any other book, Alexander von Humboldt’s 7-vol.