The Darwin Connection
The discoveries at Kent's Cavern shook Victorian popular and moral opinion. All discoveries before then had been disregarded or condemned as hoaxes, and many claimed that Pengelly's findings were inaccurate, however his scrupulous recording of every detail made most of the critics' arguments ineffectual. Little did Pengelly know that the excavation of the Cavern would last 15 years and that he would unearth some of the most crucial pieces of evidence that would make Darwin's Theory of Evolution the accepted norm. We can only imagine the conversations that occurred between Pengelly and Darwin, who for some... time.....”
Whilst in residence at Hesketh Crescent, Darwin wrote in a letter to Charles Lyell (dated 20 July, 1861) "Lady Lyell & you will be glad to hear that Etty improves a little. This is a quite charming place & I have actually walked I believe good two miles out & back, which is a grand feat. - I saw Mr Pengelly the other day & was pleased at his enthusiasm."
The Darwins' visited the seaside resort of Torquay in the hope that it would improve the health of their daughter, Henrietta Emma Darwin. Emma Darwin's diary is filled with references to Henrietta's recuperation while at Torquay in July and August 1861(www.darwinproject.ac.uk)