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THE LION HOTEL, ORIGIN OF CHARLES DARWIN'S EPIC ADVENUTRE
FOR MOST TRAVELLERS, The Lion is the end of their journey as they arrive in Shrewsbury for a short break to explore this historic town.
However, for one intrepid traveller The Lion was the start of an epic adventure. Twenty-two-year-old Charles Darwin departed the hotel in haste on Monday, September 5, 1831, by stagecoach to London on his way to join HMs Beagle for a five-year trip, which would end with him writing his controversial book on evolution, The Origin of Species. reason Darwin left the town in such a rush was that a second person had been offered the job as naturalist on the ship, which was due to later that month, and the young Shrewsbury scientist feared he might miss his opportunity. Darwin had been offered the position a week earlier for what had planned to be a two-year survey of South America and he had accepted it. However, his father, Robert, supported by Charles sisters, refused to let him go saying the trip would get in the way of him becoming a clergyman After what must have been a heated family discussion his father relented and said he could go, if he could find a man with common sense who thought it would be a good idea Darwin wrote to his Cambridge professor of botany, the Rev John Stevens Henslow, while his father wrote to his brother Josiah Wedgwood II. next afternoon Charles rode over to his uncle's The border home at Maer Hall, just over in Staffordshire, near Market Drayton and for the start of the hunting season and to put his case to the member of the famous Wedgwood pottery family. The plan worked. His uncle wrote to Darwin's father answering all the objections and Robert agreed to support his son financially. Since the Whitehall Admiralty hadn't heard from Darwin for a few days, they presumed he had changed his mind and offered the job to someone else. Darwin down to London on the first available stagecoach to see….to be continued cr.Four Centuries at THE LION HOTEL SHREWSBURY – John Butterworth