You are currently viewing The Man Who Challenged Darwin (Event from 2023)

The Man Who Challenged Darwin (Event from 2023)


Illustrated Talknew events

The Snape Room, Gosport Museum and Art Gallery, Walpole Road, Gosport, Hampshire, PO12 1NS

The 1860 Great Debate at the Oxford Union put Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution under the microscope. It was dominated by two men, one of whom, The Bishop of Oxford, had a very close relationship with Gosport. Come and hear more…

Samuel Wilberforce, son of the famous MP who almost single-handedly carried the Anti-Slavery Legislation through the Houses of Parliament, leading to Britain’s strategy of deploying the Royal Navy to defeat the slave trade and, indirectly, led to the American Civil War, has a number of important links to both Alverstoke and Gosport.

This illustrated talk, lasting about an hour, will outline his story, his family history, and the way in which his and his sibling’s lives had major impacts on the history of Britain in the middle years of the Victorian Age and underpins much of our lives today.

The story is lengthy, important in a national context, as well as locally, and will investigate how the Heritage underpinned by Soapy Sam in the 1840s was relevant then, is significant today, and will probably still be colouring much that we do in the future.

Why did they call him Soapy Sam? What did he do? And what legacy can a long-dead Bishop have for our more material world, where Christianity itself seems destined to fade away in the near future, at least in Britain?

Duration 60 minutes + Q & A’s

Event Times

Thursday 14 September: 1130 & 1400

Booking Details

Pre-booking: Required
Please self book, but if you experience any difficulties please contact us.

Assisted Booking Telephone: 023 9217 7392 or 07849 399 823
Booking opens: 26 August 2023 09:30


Wheel chair accesible toilets Toilets Service dogs welcome Mobility impaired family friendly refreshments Accesible parking



The venue has level or ramped access. Blue Badge parking on-road to the sides of venue. Large car park nearby off South Street (charges apply), or in Morrisons for visitors who are also shopping. The venue has a lovely Cafe for refreshments.

Additional Information

Please arrive 10 mins before the start time. Identify yourself to staff on arrival and you will be guided to the talk room.

Organised by

Neil Spurgeon & GMAG


Enter through the green doors at the front of the building.