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John Henslow. Engraving of Reverend John Henslow (1796-1861), British botanist who taught Charles Darwin, in 1851. During 1827-31 Darwin studied at Christ College, Cambridge University, to obtain an ordinary degree before becoming a clergyman. Although the university offered no science degree, it employed Henslow as a professor of botany. He held regular lectures and field excursions which students could voluntarily attend. Through these Darwin became Henslow's friend. Henslow's recommendation led to Darwin being invited in 1831 to sail around the world aboard HMS Beagle as a naturalist. During the voyage Darwin began to formulate his theory of evolution.
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