Some interesting facts every Salopian should know

Charles Darwin


You must have lived a very sheltered existence if you are unaware of the true origin of the Darwin species.  We all know, I would imagine, that Charles Darwin came from Shrewsbury. Admittedly he didn’t end his days in our county, but his birthplace stands proudly at the foot of The Mount, in Shrewsbury, probably looking just the same as it always did. Even though he may be our most well- known son, here are a few fun facts about Chuck D that maybe you don’t know. 

For a start, Darwin nearly didn’t make it onto the Beagle at all. The Captain, one Robert Fitzroy, believed he could judge a man’s strength and constitution by the shape of his nose. He thought Darwin’s profile suggested a lack of strength and moral fibre and only took him on board with great reservations. Amazingly enough Victorian criminologists used this theory also, and suggested one could spot an offender by profile alone. When you consider how clever the Victorians were it’s amusing to think they could be so silly too.

Because of illness in latter years, Charles spent long periods of time in bed. His illness debilitated and fatigued him; so he, being a man of routine, would play two games of backgammon every night, with his wife Emma, between six and eight thirty. He wrote all the scores down and kept them for years.

Darwin married his own first cousin Emma Wedgewood. Not, of course illegal, but nevertheless an unusual choice of life partner.

Captain Fitzroy so liked Charles he named a mountain after him in Tierra Del Fuego, originally, he thought up the name Mount Darwin. My, what scintillating company this crazy Captain and his wild originality must have made.

And Finally, Charles wanted to be a doctor but couldn’t stand the sight of blood. Maybe he might have thought twice about coming up with a counter argument to the bible if he couldn’t stand the sight of blood. There’s been plenty of it shed over his findings.

Owen Lewis


Owen Lewis Owen Lewis

Owen Lewis was born fifty something years ago in the land of the black puddings. For the geographically challenged that is in Lancashire. Moving to Shropshire From 1970 Owen was brought up in Church Stretton. His first real job was in radio. After starting on BBC Radio Shropshire he became known on Marcher Sound, broadcasting throughout the North West for several years. After a university degree course in Theatre, Owen became an actor and went on to play "Pirate Bill" in The Alton Towers Hotel. He also made several television appearances. Returning to university he took his PGCE enabling him to teach. That saw him on the Essex coast as a drama teacher and latterly as a Creative Educational Liaison Officer making films and creating new teaching methods to employ on children in need of more help in their fundamental learning skills. Three times Published playwright Owen ultimately wants a house boat in Amsterdam to focus on his work as Playwright and Poet. See more on

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