What an interesting and influential life he led. I suppose being born into the higher echelons of aristocracy does help to open doors but he appears to have used those opportunities to create contributions truly valuable to society. I had understood that he and Darwin had fundamental disagreements but it seems there was a lot more to their relationship.
On another matter the Wikipedia article mentions his by then destitute widow and daughter being offered the use of grace and favour apartments at Hampton Court Palace. Having never heard it before I had assumed you had cleverly coined that phrase when you used it in a post in relation to my pending knighthood, but it must be well used in Britain?
OK Pippan, I have just re-read my comment in Castles thread and answered it there.
But here is an interesting link on the Beagle. (Sorry off thread)