Photograph of British cleric Samuel Wilberforce.

Samuel Wilberforce

(1805 - 1873)

Samuel Wilberforce, a bishop of Oxford and the son of abolitionist William Wilberforce, observed that Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species was of the utmost concern “not to naturalists only, or even to men of science exclusively, but to everyone who is interested in the history of man and of the relations of nature around him to the history and plan of creation.” About the review, Darwin wrote to a friend, “It is uncommonly clever; it picks out with skill all the most conjectural parts, and brings forward well all the difficulties.” Wilberforce died in Surrey in 1873. 

All Writing


At a meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in 1860, Bishop Samuel Wilberforce asked T. H. Huxley, who came to be known as “Darwin’s Bulldog,” if it was on his grandmother’s or his grandfather’s side that he was descended from a monkey. To which Huxley reportedly replied, “I should feel it no shame to have risen from such an origin; but I should feel it a shame to have sprung from one who prostituted the gifts of culture and eloquence to the service of prejudice and of falsehood.”

Voices In Time

1860 | London

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Darwin’s dishonoring of nature.More

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