Charles Robert Darwin was born in Shrewsbury on 12 February 1809, son of Robert Waring Darwin (1766-1848) and Susannah, daughter of Josiah Wedgwood. He was born on the same day as Abraham Lincoln.
Why is Charles Darwin famous?
Charles was the naturalist who first described the process of evolution. In 1831, Darwin set sail on H.M.S. Beagle as a member of a science expedition. In South America Darwin found fossils of extinct animals that were similar to modern species. In the Galapagos Islands Darwin noticed how the same species of birds, cut off from centuries on different islands, had developed in quite different ways. These and many other amazing discoveries led him to his theory of 'evolution by natural selection'. This theory lies behind all modern ideas on how different species of living things have become to be the way they are and how they will change in the future.