A schooner is a type of sailing vessel with fore-and-aft sails on two or more masts. The most common type has the foremast being shorter than the main. While the schooner was gaff-rigged, modern schooners carry a Bermuda rig; the first detailed definition of a schooner, describing the vessel as two-masted vessel with fore and aft gaff-rigged sails appeared in 1769 in William Falconer's Universal Dictionary of the Marine. According to the language scholar Walter William Skeat, the term schooner comes from scoon, while the sch spelling comes from the adoption of the Dutch spelling. Another study suggests that a Dutch expression praising ornate schooner yachts in the 17th century, "een schoone Schip", may have led to the term "schooner" being used by English speakers to describe the early versions of the schooner rig as it evolved in England and America; the Dutch word "schoon" means nice, good looking, sexually arousing, or horny.. A popular legend holds that the first schooner was built by builder Andrew Robinson and launched in Gloucester, Massachusetts where a spectator exclaimed "Oh how she scoons", scoon being similar to scone, a Scots word meaning to skip along the surface of the water.
Robinson replied, "A schooner let her be." The launch is variously described as being in 1713 or 1745. Naval architects such as Howard Chapelle have dismissed this invention story as a "childish fable", but some language scholars feel that the legend may support a Gloucester origin of the word. Other sources state the etymology as uncertain. Although associated with North America, schooners were first used by the Dutch in the 16th or 17th century, they were further developed in North America from the early 18th century, came into extensive use in New England. Schooners were popular in trades requiring speed and windward ability, such as slaving, blockade running, offshore fishing. In the Chesapeake Bay area several distinctive schooner types evolved, including the Baltimore clipper and pungy. Schooners were popular among pirates in the West Indies during the Golden Age of Piracy, for their speed and agility, they could sail in shallow waters, while being smaller than other ships of the time period, they could still hold enough cannons to intimidate merchant vessels into submission.
Schooners first evolved in the late 17th century from a variety of small two-masted gaff-rigged vessels used in the coast and estuaries of the Netherlands. Most were working craft but some pleasure yachts with schooner rigs were built for wealthy merchants. Following the arrival of the Dutch Stadtholder William of Orange on the British throne, the British Royal Navy built a royal yacht with a schooner rig in 1695, HMS Royal Transport; this vessel, captured in a detailed Admiralty model, is the earliest documented schooner. Royal Transport was noted for its speed and ease of handling, mercantile vessels soon adopted the rig in Europe and in European colonies in North America. Schooners were popular with colonial traders and fishermen in North America with the first documented reference to a schooner in the United States appearing in Boston port records in 1716. North American shipbuilders developed a variety of schooner forms for trading and privateering. Essex, was the most significant shipbuilding center for schooners.
By the 1850s, over 50 vessels a year were being launched from 15 shipyards and Essex became recognized worldwide as North America's center for fishing schooner construction. In total, Essex launched over 4,000 schooners, most headed for the Gloucester, fishing industry. Bath, was another notable center, which during much of the 19th century had more than a dozen yards working at a time, from 1781 to 1892 launched 1352 schooners, including the Wyoming. Schooners were popular on both sides of the Atlantic in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, long dominating yacht races such as the America's Cup, but gave way in Europe to the cutter. Schooners were used to carry cargo in many different environments, from ocean voyages to coastal runs and on large inland bodies of water, they were popular in North America. In their heyday, during the late 19th century more than 2,000 schooners carried on the Great Lakes. Three-masted "terns" were a favourite rig of Canada's Maritime Provinces; the scow schooner, which used a schooner rig on a flat-bottomed, blunt-ended scow hull, was popular in North America for coastal and river transport.
Schooners were used in North American fishing the Grand Banks fishery. Some Banks fishing schooners such as Bluenose became famous racers. Two of the most famous racing yachts and Atlantic, were rigged as schooners, they were about 152 feet in length. Although a schooner may have several masts, the typical schooner has only two, with the foremast shorter than the mainmast. There may be a bowsprit to help balance the rig; the principal issue with a schooner sail plan is how to fill the space between the two masts most effectively. Traditional schooners were gaff rigged, the trapezoid shape of the foresail occupied the inter-mast space to good effect, with a useful sail area and a low center of effort. A Bermuda rigged schooner has four triangular sails: a mainsail, a main staysail abaft the foremast, plus a forestaysail and a jib forward of the foremast. An advantage of the staysail schooner is that it is handled and reefed by a small crew, as both staysails can be self-tacking; the main staysail will not overlap the mainsail, so does little to prepare the wind for the mainsail, but is effective when close-hauled or when on a beam reach.
Sunshine duration or sunshine hours is a climatological indicator, measuring duration of sunshine in given period for a given location on Earth expressed as an averaged value over several years. It is a general indicator of cloudiness of a location, thus differs from insolation, which measures the total energy delivered by sunlight over a given period. Sunshine duration is expressed in hours per year, or in hours per day; the first measure indicates the general sunniness of a location compared with other places, while the latter allows for comparison of sunshine in various seasons in the same location. Another often-used measure is percentage ratio of recorded bright sunshine duration and daylight duration in the observed period. An important use of sunshine duration data is to characterize the climate of sites of health resorts; this takes into account the psychological effect of strong solar light on human well-being. It is used to promote tourist destinations. If the Sun were to be above the horizon 50% of the time for a standard year consisting of 8,760 hours, apparent maximal daytime duration would be 4,380 hours for any point on Earth.
However, there are physical and astronomical effects. Namely, atmospheric refraction allows the Sun to be still visible when it physically sets below the horizon. For that reason, average daytime is longest in polar areas, where the apparent Sun spends the most time around the horizon. Places on the Arctic Circle have the longest total annual daytime, 4,647 hours, while the North Pole receives 4,575; because of elliptic nature of the Earth's orbit, the Southern Hemisphere is not symmetrical: the Antarctic Circle, with 4,530 hours of daylight, receives five days less of sunshine than its antipodes. The Equator has a total daytime of 4,422 hours per year. Given the theoretical maximum of daytime duration for a given location, there is a practical consideration at which point the amount of daylight is sufficient to be treated as a "sunshine hour". "Bright" sunshine hours represent the total hours when the sunlight is stronger than a specified threshold, as opposed to just "visible" hours. "Visible" sunshine, for example, occurs around sunrise and sunset, but is not strong enough to excite the sensor.
Measurement is performed by instruments called sunshine recorders. For the specific purpose of sunshine duration recording, Campbell–Stokes recorders are used, which use a spherical glass lens to focus the sun rays on a specially designed tape; when the intensity exceeds a pre-determined threshold, the tape burns. The total length of the burn trace is proportional to the number of bright hours. Another type of recorder is the Jordan sunshine recorder. Newer, electronic recorders have more stable sensitivity than that of the paper tape. In order to harmonize the data measured worldwide, in 1962 the World Meteorological Organization defined a standardized design of the Campbell–Stokes recorder, called an Interim Reference Sunshine Recorder. In 2003, the sunshine duration was defined as the period during which direct solar irradiance exceeds a threshold value of 120 W/m². Sunshine duration follows a general geographic pattern: subtropical latitudes have the highest sunshine values, because these are the locations of the eastern sides of the subtropical high pressure systems, associated with the large-scale descent of air from the upper-level tropopause.
Many of the world's driest climates are found adjacent to the eastern sides of the subtropical highs, which create stable atmospheric conditions, little convective overturning, little moisture and cloud cover. Desert regions, with nearly constant high pressure aloft and rare condensation—like North Africa, the Southwestern United States, Western Australia, the Middle East—are examples of hot, dry climates where sunshine duration values are high; the two major areas with the highest sunshine duration, measured as annual average, are the central and the eastern Sahara Desert—covering vast desert countries such as Egypt, Libya and Niger—and the Southwestern United States. The city claiming the official title of the sunniest in the world is Yuma, with over 4,000 hours of bright sunshine annually, but many climatological books suggest there may be sunnier areas in North Africa. In the belt encompassing northern Chad and the Tibesti Mountains, northern Sudan, southern Libya, Upper Egypt, annual sunshine duration is estimated at over 4,000 hours.
There is a smaller, isolated area of sunshine maximum in the heart of the western section of the Sahara Desert around the Eglab Massif and the Erg Chech, along the borders of Algeria and Mali where the 4,000-hour mark is exceeded, too. Some places in the interior of the Arabian Peninsula receive 3,600–3,800 hours of bright sunshine annually; the largest sun-baked region in the world is North Africa. The sunniest month in the world is December in Eastern Antarctica, with 23 hours of bright sun daily. Conversely, higher latitudes lying in stormy westerlies have much cloudier and more unstable and rainy weather, have the lowest values of sunshine duration annually. Temperate oceanic climates like those in northwestern Europe, the western coast of Canada, areas of New Zealand's South Island are examples of cool, wet, humid climates where cloudless sunshine duration values are low; the areas with the lowest sunshine duration annually lie over the polar oceans, as well as parts of northern Europe, southern Alaska, northern Russia, areas near the Sea of
An oceanic climate known as a marine climate or maritime climate, is the Köppen classification of climate typical of west coasts in higher middle latitudes of continents, features mild summers and mild winters, with a narrow annual temperature range and few extremes of temperature, with the exception for transitional areas to continental and highland climates. Oceanic climates are defined as having a monthly mean temperature below 22 °C in the warmest month, above 0 °C in the coldest month, it lacks a dry season, as precipitation is more evenly dispersed throughout the year. It is the predominant climate type across much of Western Europe including the United Kingdom, the Pacific Northwest region of the United States and Canada, portions of central Mexico, southwestern South America, southeastern Australia including Tasmania, New Zealand, as well as isolated locations elsewhere. Oceanic climates are characterised by a narrower annual range of temperatures than in other places at a comparable latitude, do not have the dry summers of Mediterranean climates or the hot summers of humid subtropical.
Oceanic climates are most dominant in Europe, where they spread much farther inland than in other continents. Oceanic climates can have considerable storm activity as they are located in the belt of the stormy westerlies. Many oceanic climates have frequent cloudy or overcast conditions due to the near constant storms and lows tracking over or near them; the annual range of temperatures is smaller than typical climates at these latitudes due to the constant stable marine air masses that pass through oceanic climates, which lack both warm and cool fronts. Locations with oceanic climates tend to feature cloudy conditions with precipitation, though it can experience clear, sunny days. London is an example of an oceanic climate, it experiences constant precipitation throughout the entire year. Despite this, thunderstorms are quite rare since hot and cold air masses meet infrequently in the region. In most areas with an oceanic climate, precipitation comes in the form of rain for the majority of the year.
However, some areas with this climate see some snowfall annually during winter. Most oceanic climate zones, or at least a part of them, experience at least one snowfall per year. In the poleward locations of the oceanic climate zone, snowfall is more commonplace. Overall temperature characteristics of the oceanic climates feature cool temperatures and infrequent extremes of temperature. In the Köppen climate classification, Oceanic climates have a mean temperature of 0 °C or higher in the coldest month, compared to continental climates where the coldest month has a mean temperature of below 0 °C. Summers are cool, with the warmest month having a mean temperature below 22 °C. Poleward of the latter is a zone of the aforementioned subpolar oceanic climate, with long but mild winters and cool and short summers. Examples of this climate include parts of coastal Iceland, Norway, the Scottish Highlands, the mountains of Vancouver Island, Haida Gwaii in Canada, in the Northern Hemisphere and extreme southern Chile and Argentina in the Southern Hemisphere, the Tasmanian Central Highlands, parts of New Zealand.
Oceanic climates are not always found in coastal locations on the aforementioned parallels. The polar jet stream, which moves in a west to east direction across the middle latitudes, advances low pressure systems and fronts. In coastal areas of the higher middle latitudes, the prevailing onshore flow creates the basic structure of most oceanic climates. Oceanic climates are a reflection of the ocean adjacent to them. In the fall and early spring, when the polar jet stream is most active, the frequent passing of marine weather systems creates the frequent fog, cloudy skies, light drizzle associated with oceanic climates. In summer, high pressure pushes the prevailing westerlies north of many oceanic climates creating a drier summer climate; the North Atlantic Gulf Stream, a tropical oceanic current that passes north of the Caribbean and up the East Coast of the United States to North Carolina heads east-northeast to the Azores, is thought to modify the climate of Northwest Europe. As a result of the Gulf Stream, west-coast areas located in high latitudes like Ireland, the UK, Norway have much milder winters than would otherwise be the case.
The lowland attributes of western Europe help drive marine air masses into continental areas, enabling cities such as Dresden and Vienna to have maritime climates in spite of being located well inland from the ocean. Oceanic climates in Europe occur in Northwest Europe, from Ireland and Great Britain eastward to central Europe. Most of France, the Netherlands, Germany, the north coast of Spain, the western Azores off the coast of Portugal, the south of Kosovo and southern portions of Sweden have oceanic climates. Examples of oceanic climates are found in Glasgow, Bergen, Dublin, Bilbao, Donostia-San Sebastian, Bayonne, Züri
William Broughton (bishop)
William Grant Broughton was an Anglican bishop. He was the first Bishop of Australia of the Church of England. Broughton was born in England, he was educated at The King's School, where he was a King's scholar. His fortunes turned from commerce to theology when he inherited a substantial sum, allowing him to study at Pembroke College, Cambridge, he graduated B. A. as 6th wrangler in 1818 and was that year ordained deacon and priest and married to Sarah Francis. He graduated M. A. in 1823. He became a curate in Hampshire and in Surrey where he was noticed by the Duke of Wellington who materially assisted his prospects, including influence in Broughton being offered the Archdeaconry of Sydney. Broughton arrived in Sydney on 13 September 1829, succeeding Thomas Scott as Archdeacon of New South Wales At this time, the colony was ecclesiastically an archdeaconry of the Anglican Diocese of Calcutta. Broughton offered to resign half of his professional income to support a second See, "an instance of self-devotion," said a contemporary writer, "with scarcely a parallel."
The Government accepted only £500 a year from him. Broughton was promptly made a member of both the colony's legislative council and executive council, assisting the governor in the administration, he was in charge of the commission for the overall policy towards Tasmanian natives which continued the policy of bounties and roving parties. He was granted a leave of absence and returned to England in 1834, there championing the cause of the church; the result was. He was enthroned Bishop of Australia, on 5 June 1836, in St James' Church, Sydney, as leader of the new Diocese of Australia just days after his arrival from England. Due to Broughton’s appeals for clergy to serve in New South Wales, William Sowerby arrived in Sydney in 1837 becoming the first Anglican clergyman at Goulburn. In 1838, Broughton visited the Bay of Islands, New Zealand, on M. S. Pelorus, for a pastoral visit to the native church established by the Church Missionary Society among the Māori. Broughton had a controversy with Charles Beaumont Howard over Howard's jurisdiction in South Australia.
Broughton was a busy bishop and travelled perhaps more so after his wife died in 1848. Broughton travelled to England in late 1852 and was involved in administration and missionary fund raising, he is buried in Canterbury Cathedral. In 1842 the Diocese of Tasmania was created. Broughton is accepted as the founder of the King's School in Parramatta a town at a distance of a day's ride from Sydney. Broughton made many journeys around the fledgling colony and is credited as instigating the building of many churches in places such as Newcastle and the Hunter Region north of Sydney and in the Monaro region inland to the south-west. Broughton championed the Newcastle case and forfeited 500 pounds sterling from his salary to fund the development of a new diocese; the building of St Andrew's Cathedral, Sydney was commenced during the late 1840s. On 12 March 1845 he consecrated St John the Baptist Church at what became the site of the federal capital of Australia, Canberra. A portrait of Broughton, by Marshall Claxton, is held at Sydney.
The Broughton River and Port Broughton in South Australia and Broughton Streets in Kirribilli, Canterbury and Campbelltown are all named after him. Broughton consecrated Saint Mary on Allyn, Allynbrooke, in the Hunter Valley. William Barker Boydell married his daughter Mary Phoebe Broughton and Broughton ordered that a church be built for his daughter to worship in. Boydell and Mary Broughton are both buried at St Mary on Allyn, along with their son, who died when he was one year old. Another son, Charles Broughton Boydell, married Rose Madelaine, the daughter of William Munnings Arnold and grand-daughter of the first incumbent of Paterson, NSW, John Jennings Smith. William's elder brother, married into the prominent Blaxland family through John Blaxland's granddaughter, Elizabeth. Broughton is commemorated in the Australian Anglican calendar on 20 February. Anglican Church of Australia Michael Gladwin Anglican clergy in Australia 1788-1850: building a British world, Royal Historical Society, London.
ISBN 9780861933280 G. P. Shaw Patriarch and Patriot: William Grant Broughton, 1788-1853, colonial statesman and ecclesiastic, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne. ISBN 0522841228 Fred T. Whitington William Grant Broughton, Bishop of Australia: with some account of the earliest Australian clergy Sydney K. J. Cable,'Broughton, William Grant', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 1, Melbourne University Press, 1966, pp 158–164. Bibliographic directory on Broughton from Project Canterbury Henry Bailey, Bishop Broughton of Australia Christ Church Cathedral, Newcastle - History Christ Church - Cooma, Monaro district 1850 - Parish of Albury, New South Wales Heraldic legacy - stars in Crest of the Bishop to the Australian Defence Force Two sermons preached in the church of St. James, at Sydney Serle, Percival. "Broughton, William Grant". Dictionary of Australian Biography. Sydney: Angus and Robertson. Media related to William Broughton at Wikimedia Commons
Marianne Williams, together with her sister-in-law Jane Williams, was a pioneering educator in New Zealand. They established schools for Māori children and adults as well as educating the children of the Church Missionary Society in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand; the Māori women called her Mata Wiremu. Marianne Williams, née Marianne Coldham, was born in Yorkshire, England 12 December 1793. Marianne was the oldest child of Anne Coldham. Wright Coldham and Thomas Williams were hosiers in Nottingham, both were Sheriffs; the family had moved to Nottingham from Norwich. Her father, Wright Coldham, was an active member of the Presbyterian High Pavement Chapel in Nottingham. Wright Coldham received recognition as a Burgess of Nottingham in 1796. In 1810 Anne Coldham died and at the age 16 Marianne took over raising her three sisters, Sarah and Anne, caring for her blind grandmother Mrs Temple, the running of the mayoral household and acting as Lady Mayoress at civic events. In 1815 Wright Coldham died.
Marianne and Henry Williams were married on 20 January 1818 by Henry’s cousin and brother-in law, the Rev. Edward Marsh, a member of the Church Missionary Society. Marianne and Henry shared a Christian faith and they joined the Church Missionary Society, with the decision being made that Henry would become an ordained minister and CMS missionary in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand. In a letter to the Committee of the CMS of 6 August 1822, Henry said of Marianne: "she does not accompany me as my wife, but as a fellow-helper in the work". On 11 September 1822 Henry and Marianne and three children embarked on the Lord Sidmouth, a convict ship carrying women convicts to Port Jackson, New South Wales, Australian. After a short stay with Rev. Samuel Marsden, he accompanied them on ship the Brampton from Sydney to the Bay of Islands, New Zealand where they arrived at Kerikeri on 7 August 1823; the CMS had an established mission at Kerikeri where they stayed while Henry and other CMS members and built a store of plank and timber and a raupo hut on Paihia beach.
On 15 September 1823 the family moved into the raupo hut, which Marianne described as having the appearance of a beehive. In 1830 a more substantial house was built using plaster. Chickens, goats and a horse were brought from Sydney. A garden was soon cultivated. Food was either imported on the infrequent ships from Sydney. Pork and Kumera could be traded from the Māori, however in the early days muskets were the item of barter which Māori wanted to trade, but Henry Williams refused to trade muskets; the supply of pork and other food was withheld in an attempt to pressure Henry to trade muskets for food. The members of the mission were under the protection of Hongi Hika, the rangatira and war leader of the Ngāpuhi iwi; the immediate protector of the Paihia mission was the chief Te Koki and his wife Ana Hamu, a woman of high rank and the owner of the land occupied by the mission at Paihia. In 1827 Hongi Hika lead the Ngāpuhi against the tribes at Whangaroa which caused anxiety amongst the missionaries as they feared they would be caught up in the fighting.
The fears of the missionaries were increased when some of the warriors of Hongi Hika, acting contrary to his orders and burnt the Wesleyan mission at Whangaroa. During a skirmish Hongi Hika was shot in the chest by one of his warriors, which resulted in the missionaries fearing that they would suffer in the event that a muru occurred following his death. On 6 March 1828 Hongi Hika spent his last moments "exhorting his followers to be valiant, repel any force, however great, which might come against them - telling them this was all the utu, or satisfaction, that he desired"; the death of Tiki, a son of Pōmare I and the subsequent death of Te Whareumu in 1828 threw the Hokianga into a state of uncertainty as the other Ngāpuhi chiefs debated what revenge was required. Henry was asked to mediate between the combatants; as the Ngāpuhi chiefs did not want to escalate the fighting, a peaceful resolution was achieved. In 1830 there was a battle, at Kororareka, called the Girls' War, which caused the missionaries to fear they would be caught up in the fighting.
While there were misunderstandings and arguments between the missionaries and the Ngāpuhi, the CMS mission was never threatened. The missionary work of Henry Williams and his attempts to act as peacemaker in intertribal conflicts meant that he spent months at a time travelling through the North Island of New Zealand. Marianne shared mission responsibilities with her sister-in-law, Jane Williams, together they cared for and educated their families. Together with Jane Williams, Marianne set up a boarding school for Māori girls. Schools were established in the communities inland from the Bay of Islands. Marianne trained and supervised the teachers, who included the wives of other CMS missionaries, her daughters, nieces or future daughters-in-law. In 1832 Marianne and Janes Williams, together with Mrs. Brown, Mrs. Fairburn, Mrs. Puckey, continued in charge of the Native Girls' School, of an Infant School at Paihia; the domestic responsibilities of Marianne extended beyond her large family and included Māori and Pakeha visitors to the mission as well as providing assistance to other CMS members in Paihia and Waimate North.
Marianne and Henry had eleven children: Edward Marsh. Married Jane Davis, daughter of CMS missionary the Revd Richard
Paihia is the main tourist town in the Bay of Islands in the far north of the North Island of New Zealand. It is 60 kilometres north of Whangarei, located close to the historic towns of Kerikeri. Missionary Henry Williams named the mission station Marsden's Vale and the Paihia became the accepted name of the settlement. Nearby to the north is the historic settlement of Waitangi, the residential and commercial area of Haruru Falls is to the west; the port and township of Opua, the small settlement of Te Haumi, lie to the south. The population of Paihia was 1770 in the 2006 Census, a decrease of 69 from 2001. Henry Williams and his wife Marianne settled in Paihia in 1823 and built the first church there the same year. William Williams and his wife Jane joined the Paihia mission in 1826. Bishop William Grant Broughton visited the Paihia mission in 1838 and performed several firsts in New Zealand including the first Confirmation and Ordination ceremonies. Herald was a 55-ton schooner that the missionaries built and launched off the beach at Paihia on 24 January 1826.
In December 1832 the first mention of cricket being played in New Zealand was recorded by Henry Williams. In 1835 a game of cricket was witnessed here by Charles Darwin, in December 1835 while the Beagle spent 10 days in the Bay of Islands. In 1835 William Colenso set up the first printing press in New Zealand at Paihia. In 1850 the mission closed and Paihia declined to a small settlement by 1890. St. Paul's Anglican Church, completed in 1925, is the fifth church built on the site, it is constructed of stone quarried from the Pukaru locality, near Kawakawa and timber from near Waikare. The triptych stained glass windows above the pulpit were commissioned by the Williams Family Trust in commemoration of Sir Nigel Reed for the 175 year family reunion and installed by the artist in 1998; the windows, titled Te Ara O Te Manawa are 4 m2 in total size. In 1926 a road was constructed to Puketona on the main road from Kawakawa to Kerikeri leading to an increase in tourism in the 1930s; the local Waimangaro Marae is a traditional meeting ground of the Ngāpuhi hapū of Te Uri Ongaonga.
Paihia School is a coeducational full primary school with a decile rating of 4 and a roll of 168. Köppen-Geiger climate classification system classifies its climate as oceanic, but it is rainier in winter, it has strong subtropical influence and is classified as such under the Trewartha system due to its consistent warm temperatures, is the mildest weather station in New Zealand. Paihia - Jewel of the Bay of Islands Paihia map Paihia School website
Charles Robert Darwin, was an English naturalist and biologist, best known for his contributions to the science of evolution. His proposition that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors is now accepted, considered a foundational concept in science. In a joint publication with Alfred Russel Wallace, he introduced his scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection, in which the struggle for existence has a similar effect to the artificial selection involved in selective breeding. Darwin published his theory of evolution with compelling evidence in his 1859 book On the Origin of Species, overcoming scientific rejection of earlier concepts of transmutation of species. By the 1870s, the scientific community and a majority of the educated public had accepted evolution as a fact. However, many favoured competing explanations, it was not until the emergence of the modern evolutionary synthesis from the 1930s to the 1950s that a broad consensus developed in which natural selection was the basic mechanism of evolution.
Darwin's scientific discovery is the unifying theory of the life sciences, explaining the diversity of life. Darwin's early interest in nature led him to neglect his medical education at the University of Edinburgh. Studies at the University of Cambridge encouraged his passion for natural science, his five-year voyage on HMS Beagle established him as an eminent geologist whose observations and theories supported Charles Lyell's uniformitarian ideas, publication of his journal of the voyage made him famous as a popular author. Puzzled by the geographical distribution of wildlife and fossils he collected on the voyage, Darwin began detailed investigations, in 1838 conceived his theory of natural selection. Although he discussed his ideas with several naturalists, he needed time for extensive research and his geological work had priority, he was writing up his theory in 1858 when Alfred Russel Wallace sent him an essay that described the same idea, prompting immediate joint publication of both of their theories.
Darwin's work established evolutionary descent with modification as the dominant scientific explanation of diversification in nature. In 1871 he examined human evolution and sexual selection in The Descent of Man, Selection in Relation to Sex, followed by The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, his research on plants was published in a series of books, in his final book, The Formation of Vegetable Mould, through the Actions of Worms, he examined earthworms and their effect on soil. Darwin has been described as one of the most influential figures in human history, he was honoured by burial in Westminster Abbey. Since 2008, a statue of Charles Darwin occupies the place of honour at London's Natural History Museum. Charles Robert Darwin was born in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, on 12 February 1809, at his family's home, The Mount, he was the fifth of six children of wealthy society doctor and financier Robert Darwin and Susannah Darwin. His grandfathers Erasmus Darwin and Josiah Wedgwood were both prominent abolitionists.
Both families were Unitarian, though the Wedgwoods were adopting Anglicanism. Robert Darwin, himself a freethinker, had baby Charles baptised in November 1809 in the Anglican St Chad's Church, but Charles and his siblings attended the Unitarian chapel with their mother; the eight-year-old Charles had a taste for natural history and collecting when he joined the day school run by its preacher in 1817. That July, his mother died. From September 1818, he joined his older brother Erasmus attending the nearby Anglican Shrewsbury School as a boarder. Darwin spent the summer of 1825 as an apprentice doctor, helping his father treat the poor of Shropshire, before going to the University of Edinburgh Medical School with his brother Erasmus in October 1825. Darwin found lectures dull and surgery distressing, so he neglected his studies, he learned taxidermy in around 40 daily hour-long sessions from John Edmonstone, a freed black slave who had accompanied Charles Waterton in the South American rainforest.
In Darwin's second year at the university he joined the Plinian Society, a student natural-history group featuring lively debates in which radical democratic students with materialistic views challenged orthodox religious concepts of science. He assisted Robert Edmond Grant's investigations of the anatomy and life cycle of marine invertebrates in the Firth of Forth, on 27 March 1827 presented at the Plinian his own discovery that black spores found in oyster shells were the eggs of a skate leech. One day, Grant praised Lamarck's evolutionary ideas. Darwin was astonished by Grant's audacity, but had read similar ideas in his grandfather Erasmus' journals. Darwin was rather bored by Robert Jameson's natural-history course, which covered geology—including the debate between Neptunism and Plutonism, he learned the classification of plants, assisted with work on the collections of the University Museum, one of the largest museums in Europe at the time. Darwin's neglect of medical studies annoyed his father, who shrewdly sent him to Christ's College, Cambridge, to study for a Bachelor of Arts degree as the first step towards becoming an Anglican country parson.
As Darwin was unqualified for the Tripos, he joined the ordinary degree course in January 1828. He preferred shooting to studying, his cousin William Darwin Fox introduced him to the popular craze for beetle collecting.