Charles Darwin received an Honorary Doctorate of Law from Cambridge University
The University of Cambridge had come round to Darwinism, and on Saturday 17 November the family attended the Senate House for a ceremony in which Darwin was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Laws in front of crowds of students, who strung a cord across the chamber with a monkey-marionette which was removed by a Proctor then replaced by a "missing link", a beribboned ring which hung over the crowd through the ceremony.
Darwin entered to a roar of approval. The Public Orator gave his panegyric describing Darwin's work with purple Latin prose, to some good humoured heckling from the students, and distanced the dignitaries from "the unlovely tribe of apes" saying "'Mores in utroques dispares' – the moral nature of the two races is different".
Emma had a headache, so she and Darwin let their boys to stand in for them at a dinner in his honour at which Huxley chided the university for failing to honour Darwin twenty years earlier. On the Sunday, after a "brilliant luncheon" with George at Trinity College, they were given guided tours. The engineering professor James Stuart showed Emma and Darwin round his workshop and later wrote of "A strong.. looking man with iron grey hair..[as though] rough hewn from a rock with a heavy..hammer,.. A man of genius.. indeed one of 'the few'."
Darwin received an honorary Doctorate of Law from Cambridge University. This was one of the proudest moments of his life.