skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. D. Hooker   [17 December 1871]1



Dear Darwin

I quite forgot that I had a friend coming to lunch with me tomorrow, & so I cannot meet Sir Henry Holland & taste the Grouse2

It is very probable that he has seen Mr Lowe already & may be able to give you some idea of his views, if so & you can let me know anything I should be thankful to hear it.3

I had half an hour with Lyell after leaving Q. A. Street & found him wonderfully well— I am to take him to the Phil. Club on Thursday—4 Will you not come too?

Ever yrs affec | J D Hooker


The date is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Henry Holland, [16 December 1871].
Hooker refers to Robert Lowe’s views on Hooker’s dispute with Acton Smee Ayrton, first commissioner of the Office of Works. CD had asked Holland to intervene on Hooker’s behalf (see letter from J. D. Hooker, 2 November 1871 and nn. 1 and 2). Lowe was chancellor of the exchequer (ODNB) and therefore in charge of the Treasury, from where the Office of Works drew its funds. See Parry 2000, p. 107. For Lowe’s views, see MacLeod 1974, p. 57.
Charles Lyell lived at 73 Harley Street, London, a short distance from Erasmus Alvey Darwin at 6 Queen Anne Street. Lyell had been ill earlier in the year (see letter from J. D. Hooker, 3 July 1871, and letter to J. D. Hooker, 5 July [1871]). Hooker also refers to the Royal Society of London’s Philosophical Club, of which he was a founder member (Bellon 2001, p. 58).


Cannot come to lunch to meet Sir Henry Holland. Holland may have seen Robert Lowe [Lord Sherbrooke] already. Will CD let him know his views?

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 103: 98
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8108,” accessed on 27 May 2018,

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