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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Henry Holland   [20 October 1871]1

My dear Sir H.

I beg you to grant me the favour to read over the enclosed long letter from Dr Hooker, the best & oldest friend I have in the world.2

I heard months ago how shamefully Mr Ayrton had been treating him, & now it seems that things have come to such a pass that Hooker will resign his place rather than remain under his command.3 This, considering what H. has done for science, wd be almost a disgrace to the country.

Your name & position must have great influence in the Deputation;4 so I beg you to consider this application, as favourably as your judgment will permit; & [because], I think [perfectly clear] that a gt scientific establishment ought not to be under the control of one man who may know nothing whatever of any branch of science—

I hope under all the circumstances that you will excuse me for drawing your attention to this subject,— as I can see that Dr H. is most anxious for your support.—


The date is established by the relationship between this letter, the letter from J. D. Hooker, 20 October 1871, and the letter to J. D. Hooker, 20 [October 1871].
Joseph Dalton Hooker’s letter has not been found; see letter from J. D. Hooker, 20 October 1871 and n. 1.
The reference is to Acton Smee Ayrton. See letter from J. D. Hooker, [2 October 1871] and n. 10; see also letter from J. D. Hooker, 26 March 1871.
Holland was president of the Royal Institution of Great Britain and a relative of the Wedgwoods.


Seeks HH’s support for Hooker in JDH’s difficulties with A. S. Ayrton and the Ministry of Works [see Nature 6 (1872): 211–16].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Henry Holland
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 96: 97
Physical description
Adraft 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8025,” accessed on 21 May 2018,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 19