01-Apr-1832: Darwin falls for an old tradition

From Darwin’s Beagle Diary, 1st April, 1832:

April 1st

All hands employed in making April fools. — at midnight almost nearly all the watch below was called up in their shirts; carpenters for a leak: quarter masters that a mast was sprung. — midshipmen to reef top-sails; All turned in to their hammocks again, some growling some laughing. — The hook was much too easily baited for me not to be caught: Sullivan cried out, “Darwin, did you ever see a Grampus: Bear a hand then”. I accordingly rushed out in a transport of Enthusiasm, & was received by a roar of laughter from the whole watch. —

They must have had a whale of a time aboard HMS Beagle.

Greenland Whale

Writer and photographer Richard Carter, FCD is the founder of the Friends of Charles Darwin. He lives in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.WebsiteFacebookTwitterNewsletterBooks
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6 thoughts on “01-Apr-1832: Darwin falls for an old tradition

  1. I love the phrase "I accordingly rushed out in a transport of enthusiasm" I wonder if people actually spoke in that manner or if it was an affectation of his writing style. Seems from the content that April fools jokes have been around for a while. Always thought most of them quite silly.

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