The marine chronometer helped Vice Admiral Robert FitzRoy navigate the HMS Beagle around the tip of South America and onwards to the Galapagos Islands during its 1831 to 1836 voyages.
During this trip, Darwin formed his theory of evolution after noticing variations and similarities between living animals and what he believed were fossils of their extinct ancestors.
The clock, mounted in its gimbled mahogany box case, was sold by at auction by Bonhams for £100,900 (US $157,690).
The previously unrecorded marine chronometer performed so well during HMS Beagle voyages that the Admiralty purchased it from Vice Admiral FitzRoy in 1837.
From then on, the instrument led an active life. When a mine sunk HMS Irresistible in Turkey in 1916, the chronometer was recorded as being aboard, but was later listed as lost. It then re-emerged during World War II on a ship used by the Russians on the Pacific route between the US and Vladivostok under the command of Anna Shetinina, said to be the first female commander of an ocean-going ship. Great achievement in a male-dominated career.
In the 1970's, a relative presented the chronometer to the current owner on his entry to the Vladivostok Marine School of Engineering.
Published in 1859, Darwin's book On the Origin of Species suggested that species with common ancestry evolve into diverse life forms over long periods of time.
Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882) Source BBC.
Charles Robert Darwin was born on 12 February 1809 in Shrewsbury, Shropshire into a wealthy and well-connected family. His maternal grandfather was china manufacturer Josiah Wedgwood, while his paternal grandfather was Erasmus Darwin, one of the leading intellectuals of 18th century England.
Darwin himself initially planned to follow a medical career, and studied at Edinburgh University but later switched to divinity at Cambridge. In 1831, he joined a five year scientific expedition on the survey ship HMS Beagle.
At this time, most Europeans believed that the world was created by God in seven days as described in the bible. On the voyage, Darwin read Lyell's 'Principles of Geology' which suggested that the fossils found in rocks were actually evidence of animals that had lived many thousands or millions of years ago. Lyell's argument was reinforced in Darwin's own mind by the rich variety of animal life and the geological features he saw during his voyage. The breakthrough in his ideas came in the Galapagos Islands, 500 miles west of South America. Darwin noticed that each island supported its own form of finch which were closely related but differed in important ways.
The book was extremely controversial, because the logical extension of Darwin's theory was that homo sapiens was simply another form of animal. It made it seem possible that even people might just have evolved, possibly from apes, and destroyed the prevailing orthodoxy on how the world was created. Darwin was vehemently attacked, particularly by the Church. However, his ideas soon gained currency and have become the new orthodoxy.
Humankind may never really understand creation, but Charles Darwin took a leap of perception despite huge controversy.
I don't have the type of mind that needs to know the intricacies. However, our recorded history always appeals to me.