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Charles Darwin is Shrewsbury’s most famous son, born on 12th February 1809 and it is from The Lion Hotel that Darwin caught the coach south to meet HMS Beagle and begin his epic voyage of discovery.
Darwin’s curiosity, natural inquisitiveness and desire to understand his world made him the ideal person to accompany Captain Fitzroy as his companion and naturalist on HMS Beagle.
Darwin’s journey to meet HMS Beagle almost never happened, his father refused his request to join Captain Fitzroy and it was only following his favorite uncle, Josiah Wedgwood II, intervention that his father relented.Darwin raced across Shrewsbury to the Lion Hotel to catch the next coach to London.
On his return from his epic voyage,Darwin stayed at The Lion Hotel before making his way home the next morning.