Charles Darwin was born to a very wealthy family in England. His father was a doctor and was not rich because he was a doctor, but was a doctor because he was rich. Back then only the very wealthy were educated. Darwin's mother was one of the social elites, but died in 1817 when Darwin was 8. She wanted Darwin to become a minister, but his father wanted him to become a doctor.
His father bought his way into the University of Edinburgh, being the good son he was he decided to follow his father's wishes, being he was still living. Everything was going well until Darwin passed out at the 1st sight of blood, so they dismissed him. He came home to England feeling like a failure. Then he started to study science and geology and really like it. It was the 1st thing that really made him happy.
But unfortunately his father made him do something else, something respectable. So he went to Cambridge to study theology, following his mothers wishes to become a priest. He does ok, about average, but is just not feeling it and quits. He then starts to take more natural science courses, and gets so good at it that he can name every plant and animal known to mankind.
In 1831 Darwin became H.M.S. Beagle's naturalist. He was taken on a trip to help determine if the land they were visiting was worth conquering. His ship left in October in 1831 from England and sailed down the eastern cost of South America and up the western coast of South America including a small chain of islands called the Galapagos Islands. They then sailed west across the Pacific Ocean, under Australia and around the southern tip (horn) of Africa and up the western coast.