Evensong & Wreathlaying at the grave of Charles Darwin
Thursday, 12th February 2009
Westminster Abbey honoured the memory of Charles Darwin, the naturalist and father of the theory of evolution, with a short service and a floral tribute on the 200th anniversary of his birth.
The ceremony marked the start of a year of Darwin celebrations at the Abbey.
Darwin was born on 12th February 1809 and was buried in the Abbey when he died in 1882.
At a ceremony after Evensong on Thursday 12th February the Abbeys Canon Theologian, the Reverend Nicholas Sagovsky read from Darwin's writings. He also led prayers and a minutes silence in his memory.
Flowers and foliage from the garden Downe House near Orpington in Kent which was Darwins home for 40 years were laid by Cat Clarke now a conservator at the Abbey but who for previously looked after Downe House and Darwin's study.
The plants Helleborus and Berberis darwinii - discovered in South America in 1835 by Darwin during the voyage of the 'Beagle' form part of the arrangement.