HISTORY TIMELINE

The HMS Beagle Project celebrates the history of HMS Beagle, and those who sailed with her. Explore the history of HMS Beagle and the HMS Beagle Project using our timeline. Click on the images in the timeline to read more.

Robert FitzRoy 2
ROBERT FITZROY BORN IN SUFFOLK

5th July 1805

Robert FitzRoy (1805 – 1865), later Captain of the Beagle, was born at Ampton Hall, Suffolk, England on 5 July 1805. Graduating from the Royal Naval College in Portsmouth aged 14, he was the first student to obtain full marks in all his examinations. Within five years he was a lieutenant in the Royal Navy...

ROBERT FITZROY BORN IN SUFFOLK
The Mount
CHARLES DARWIN BORN IN SHREWSBURY

12th February 1809

Charles Robert Darwin (1809 – 1882) was born at The Mount, Shrewsbury, England on 12 February 1809. The fifth child of local doctor Robert and his wife Susannah (née Wedgwood), the young Charles was doted on by three elder sisters...

CHARLES DARWIN BORN IN SHREWSBURY
Glacier Alley
HMS BEAGLE SETS SAIL FOR THE FIRST TIME

22nd May 1826

HMS Beagle set sail on her first voyage in 1826, leaving Plymouth on 22 May. Under the command of Captain Pringle Stokes the ship accompanied HMS Adventure on a hydrographic surveying expedition to Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego...

HMS BEAGLE SETS SAIL FOR THE FIRST TIME
HMS Beagle Galapagos 2
HMS BEAGLE’S SECOND VOYAGE

27th December 1831

HMS Beagle left Plymouth for her second voyage on 27 December 1831. Captained by Robert FitzRoy, the ship carried three Fuegians back to Tierra del Fuego, and a young soon-to-be-cleric, Charles Darwin.

The voyage was tasked with completing the work of the previous journey, in surveying the southern coast of South America, and recording the latitude and longitude of each port of call. For ...

HMS BEAGLE’S SECOND VOYAGE
Australia chart
HMS BEAGLE’S THIRD VOYAGE

1st July 1837

HMS Beagle set sail on its third and final voyage in 1837, surveying large parts of the uncharted Australian coast under the command of Commander John Clements Wickham. In 1840, John Lort Stokes took over, after Wickham resigned due to ill health. Stokes had shared a cabin with Charles Darwin on the previous voyage...

 

HMS BEAGLE’S THIRD VOYAGE
Linnean Society
WALLACE AND DARWIN’S CONCEPT OF NATURAL SELECTION IS ANNOUNCED

1st July 1858

A joint paper containing Charles Darwin and Alfred Russell Wallace’s development of the theory of evolution by natural selection was presented to the Linnean Society of London on 1 July 1858. Darwin was unable to attend and the paper was instead delivered by geologist Charles Lyell and botanist Joseph Hooker, to a muted reception...

WALLACE AND DARWIN’S CONCEPT OF NATURAL SELECTION IS ANNOUNCED
Origin
DARWIN’S ‘ORIGIN’ PUBLISHES

24th November 1859

On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection with a subtitle or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life was published by John Murray on 24 November 1859. Aimed at a general audience, the book sold out its entire 1,500 copy print run immediately, and 3,000 copies were reprinted in a little over a month...

DARWIN’S ‘ORIGIN’ PUBLISHES
Robert FitzRoy's grave
ROBERT FITZROY TAKES HIS OWN LIFE

30th April 1865

Vice-Admiral Robert FitzRoy took his own life in Norwood, Surrey on 30 April 1865. Aged almost 60, he had been given leave of absence from his meteorological work due to ill-health a few months earlier. On the day of his death he rose early, walked to his dressing room, kissing his daughter on the way, and slit his throat with a razor. He died ...

ROBERT FITZROY TAKES HIS OWN LIFE
Charles Darwin's grave
CHARLES DARWIN DIES

19th April 1882

Charles Darwin died, aged 73 at his Kent home, Down House on 19 April 1882. He had suffered severe bouts of illness for many years, which kept him out of the public eye. Despite this he was buried in Westminster Abbey on 28 April..

 

CHARLES DARWIN DIES
Charles Darwin's signature full
CHARLES DARWIN DESCRIBES HIS TIME ABOARD THE BEAGLE

11th June 1887

The autobiography of Charles Darwin was published by John Murray five years after his death, as part of the three volume The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin. It featured this quote summarising Darwin’s view of his time aboard the Beagle...

CHARLES DARWIN DESCRIBES HIS TIME ABOARD THE BEAGLE
Paglesham
TIMBERS FROM HMS BEAGLE FOUND

15th November 2003

Traces of timbers thought to be from HMS Beagle were found in a marsh at Paglesham, Essex in November 2003. After three major scientific expeditions, the ship saw out her days as a Coast Guard ‘watch vessel’ in these Essex marshes...

TIMBERS FROM HMS BEAGLE FOUND
HMS Beagle Project icon 2
HMS BEAGLE TRUST IS FOUNDED

15th June 2005

The HMS Beagle Trust was founded in 2005 and granted charitable status by the Charity Commission in October 2008. The organisation’s charitable objects are...

HMS BEAGLE TRUST IS FOUNDED
Astronaut Mike Barratt 2
HMS BEAGLE PROJECT PARTNERS WITH NASA

10th October 2008

The HMS Beagle Project and NASA signed a Space Act Agreement for cooperation across three areas, joint science, educational outreach and public affairs, in October 2008. The trans-atmospheric collaboration was initiated when astronaut and spaceflight physician Michael R Barratt read about the HMS Beagle Project in Science magazine...

HMS BEAGLE PROJECT PARTNERS WITH NASA
Paraty Expedition 1
DARWIN AND THE ADVENTURE EXPEDITION

21st September 2009

Two hundred years after Charles Darwin’s birth, the HMS Beagle Project coordinated a major collaborative celebration of the scientist’s life and work in Paraty, Brazil. Supported by a British Council Darwin Now Network grant, marine research scientists from South America, the USA and the UK collaborated with...

 

DARWIN AND THE ADVENTURE EXPEDITION
Santiago flowers
FUNDACION BEAGLE IS FOUNDED

31st January 2012

Fundacion Beagle, the Chilean sister charity to the Beagle Trust, was founded in 2012. It aims to raise environmental awareness of the land and the biodiversity that inhabits it through scientific research, education and creativity.

 

FUNDACION BEAGLE IS FOUNDED