I found these two interesting images over the course of a hundred pages or so in the profusely illustrated weekly magazine, Punch, or the London Charivari, for early 1865. The first image, published 18 March 1865, "A Song of the Streets", drawn by "C.H.D." (Charles Henry Bennett, 1828-1867), displays the general thoroughfare of sidewalk life in a place like London, people being blown about by late winds and snow.
It is in the upper right-hand corner of the engraving that we find our "important Anti-Darwinist", which seems like an illogical statement, except that it isn't The man in question is the fellow with the bellows, who seems to be the one instigating the weather, blowing so had and cold that it moves people off their feet and off the page. The bellows is labelled "Fitzroy", and the likeness is that of the man with the same name, Vice-Admiral Robert Fitzroy (b. 1800), who at this time was serving as the chief of a weather department for the Royal Society, the Meteorological Statist to the Board of Trade, appointed by the president of the society, and was basically a meteorologist, except that the title had yet been invented. (It is also interesting that Fitzroy is depicted in captain's (?) uniform, and surrounded by a floating telescope, book, thermometer and self-registering drum.) So even then, even with the first person in this position of authority, complaints for foul weather were being launched at the person "in charge", even though that person created an extraordinary new tool for detailing the possible changes in weather.1
It happens that this is the same Robert Fitzroy who was the captain of the HMS Beagle on its second voyage (1831-1836), when he approved of the addition of an added gentleman to help keep his sanity on the long adventure, a naturalist named Charles Darwin. It was also Fitzroy who gave Darwin a copy of the first volume of Lyell's Principles of Geology, a book integral to Darwin's development into Charles Darwin. The voyage was personally rocky for the two men, but ultimately highly successful. Years later, Fitzroy was shocked and dismayed with the result of young Darwin's adventures--with the publication of On the Origin of Species..., Fitzroy felt a sense of personal guilt for Darwin's theory, and felt shame and bitterness towards it, as in his mind the theory went against his bible and his religious beliefs. Fitzroy and the Rev. Samuel Wilberforce were at the evolution debate meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (1860) in which Rev. Soapy Sam challenged Darwin's theory on "scientific" grounds, and against which Thomas Huxley (and other Darwin supporters) made his well-remembered defence2. In the middle of all of this was Robert Fitzroy, who cried for the crowd of onlookers--with his Bible held aloft--to reject man's interpretation of nature and stay with that of God. He was booed down. Darwin was not in attenddance. [Image: Wilberforce, threatening.]
So, in a way, Fitzroy proved to be important in the formation of the theory of evolution but also turned out to be an anti-Evolutionist, though not an important one. Oddly enough this may be the last published image of Fitzroy during his lifetime, as he would die 42 days after the appearance of this issue.
In the second image of the streets the view from the pages of Punch (for 27 May 1865), "The Banishment of the Beggars, a New Tramp Chorus", we see a different type of street "cleaning". In this case, it. Charles Villiers (1802-1898, and for 63 years a sitting MP) and his Homeless Poor Bill of 1865 sweeping the "sham poor" from the city streets, the legislation designating that the capable poor actually be put to work and removed from their begging positions on the streets. The complaints in the chorus against the highly visible poor of Metropolitania were considerable,
finding among the beggars ("who disturb our peace") a litany of fakes, many of who are featured in the illustration:
"sham injured workmen (who display their wounds from door to door)", the lame (who clap their crutches on our toes), the blind, sham paralytics, sham widows (with hired babies and brats), "artistic tramps" (who will no longer chalk on the sidewalk "I am Starving"), and the fake veterans of wars.
The way to salvation for these people was "the Mill", provided by the Villiers bill, and a compulsory spot in a workhouse (work-house) where labor is exchanged for room and board.
1. Fitzroy was actually the person who coined the term "weather forecast", or at least he was the first to use it who had any real chance of being correct or accurate, given how much data he was able to assemble and interpret. He was really a very important person in this regard, as well.
2. This is not the place to debate whether Huxley's famous remarks were famnous at teh time. In a letter to Darwin J.D. Hooker wrote this of the exchange:
"Well, Sam Oxon got up and spouted for half an hour with inimitable spirit, ugliness and emptiness and unfairness ... Huxley answered admirably and turned the tables, but he could not throw his voice over so large an assembly nor command the audience ... he did not allude to Sam's weak points nor put the matter in a form or way that carried the audience". ^ "Letter 2852 — Hooker, J. D. to Darwin, C. R., 2 July 1860". Darwin Correspondence Project
On the other hand, another cotemporary of the exchange between WIlberforce and Huxley wrote:
Alfred Newton wrote:
In the Nat. Hist. Section we had another hot Darwinian debate... After [lengthy preliminaries] Huxley was called upon by Henslow to state his views at greater length, and this brought up the Bp. of Oxford... Referring to what Huxley had said two days before, about after all its not signifying to him whether he was descended from a Gorilla or not, the Bp. chafed him and asked whether he had a preference for the descent being on the father's side or the mother's side? This gave Huxley the opportunity of saying that he would sooner claim kindred with an Ape than with a man like the Bp. who made so ill a use of his wonderful speaking powers to try and burke, by a display of authority, a free discussion on what was, or was not, a matter of truth, and reminded him that on questions of physical science 'authority' had always been bowled out by investigation, as witness astronomy and geology.
A lot of people afterwards spoke... the feeling of the meeting was very much against the Bp." _Wiki on the 1860 debate.