7th November 1836

She moved down to Woolwich.
(Darwin's final Diary entry)

Captain Fitzroy’s Journal
After the chronometer rates were ascertained, the Beagle dropped down to Woolwich.
(Fitzroy's final Journal entry)

Syms Covington Journal
Also were towed to Woolwich.
(Covington's final Journal entry)

As perhaps is fitting, the final words in our adventure with HMS Beagle, should be from Captain Fitzroy. More or less everything available to me has now been posted on this site, however, I will be leaving it for research purposes for the forseeable future. Comments on individual entries are, of course, still very welcome. I will seek to answer questions within a day or so.

Greenwich was the last station at which observations were made; and, singularly enough, Mr. Usborne and his companions came on board as we anchored there. Independent of the gratification of meeting them again, after so wide a separation, it may be supposed how my mind was relieved by his safe return from a very successful expedition, in which he had surveyed the whole coast of Peru, from Atacama to Guayaquil, without loss or accident. Although his own life was seriously risked on two or three occasions, by shots fired under misapprehension; I must not omit to mention that hostilities were suspended for a whole day, at Arica, between the land-forces and an attacking squadron, in order that Mr. Usborne might carry on his operations. Throughout the survey of the Peruvian coast, the cordial assistance of Mr. Wilson, Charge d'affaires at Lima, was found to be of paramount consequence.

I would now speak of the steady support and unvarying help which I received from the officers of the Beagle: but where all did so much, and all contributed so materially to the gatherings of the voyage, it is unnecessary to particularise, farther than by saying that Mr. Stokes's services hold the first place in my own estimation.

In this long voyage, rather exceeding that of Vancouver, fatal disease was unknown, except in the lamented case of the purser, and in that mentioned at Rio de Janeiro; neither of which had the least reference to the particular service on which the Beagle was employed: and it is perhaps remarkable, that while the Beagle was in commission, between February 1829 and November 1836, no serious illness, brought on or contracted while on service, happened on board; neither did any accident of consequence occur in the ship; nor did any man ever fall overboard during all that time.

The freedom from illness must be attributed, under Providence, to active employment, good clothing, and wholesome food, in healthy, though sometimes disagreeable climates: and our immunity from accident during exposure to a variety of risks, especially in boats, I attribute, referring to visible causes, to the care, attention, and vigilance of the excellent officers whose able assistance was not valued by me more than their sincere friendship.

The Beagle was paid off on the 17th of November. The Beagle was put into commission on the 4th of July 1831; thus having completed the unusually long period of five years and one hundred and thirty six days.



  1. Thanks so much for this project. Thoroughly enjoyed reading all the entries.

  2. I like this journal very much;). It's very interesting.