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1876 Henry Fawcett advocate of Darwin

1876 Henry Fawcett advocate of Darwin

C011/0974

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Credit

PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption

Henry Fawcett (26th August 1833- 6 November 1884). Woodburytype from "Men of Mark" 1876. Fawcett was blinded in a shooting accident in 1858 at age 25, but continued with his studies to become a respected economist. In 1860 he attended the Oxford evolution debate where, when asked if he thought Bishop Samuel Wilberforce had read the Origin of Species - he replied loudly "Oh no, I swear he has never read a word of it". Wilberforce heard him and swung around angrily, but seeing the man was blind, decided it was best to say nothing. Fawcett defended the logic of Natural Selection in the meeting of the British Association of Science in Manchester the following year, and his support helped win the theory acceptance. Fawcett went on to become member of Parliament for Brighton (1865-1874) and Hackney (1874-1884). He was an advocate for women's suffrage.

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