skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

From M. T. Masters   6 August 1874

The Gardeners’ Chronicle Office, | 41, Wellington Street, Strand, W.C. | London

August 6 1874

My dear Sir/

I am greatly obliged for the monœcious hop which has a special interest for me as a similar instance was I think the very first monstrosity that attracted my attention as far back as 1852— It was put into my hands by my Father to make a drawing for him which was published in Gard: Chron of that year with a note from him—1

The matter I remember had special interest as he was at that time sending hop-sets to India through Dr. Royle and I believe he took pains to send some monœcious sets to India— Something is said about the matter in Royle’s Materia Medica (Voce Hop) which I have not at hand—2

I shall publish your enclosure & reproduce the original cut to wh. I have alluded3

Should you object to my publishing some time hence in the G. C. your portrait together with an article I have in contemplation showing the bearing of your observations on fertilisation &c &c on practical horticulture —It would necessarily be some time hence as just now I am overburdened with work4

With many thanks | faithfully yrs | Maxwell T. Masters

Chas. Darwin Esq


CD’s letter to Masters has not been found, but see the letter from Leyson Lewis, [before 6 August 1874] and nn. 1 and 2. William Masters’s note on apparent change of sex in a hop plant (which carried first female flowers, then male and female, then male) appeared in the Gardeners’ Chronicle, 18 September 1852, p. 597. M. T. Masters’s drawing accompanying the note was reprinted with the letter from Lewis in the Gardeners’ Chronicle, 8 August 1874, p. 174.
John Forbes Royle had introduced the hop plant to the Himalayas. It was hoped that the cultivation of hops in India would make beer more affordable to European soldiers, so that they would no longer drink the ‘pernicious spirituous compounds of the bazaars’; it was also thought that beer was good for people convalescing from ‘Indian diseases’. (Royle and Headland 1868, pp. 638–9.) Voce: under the word or heading (OED).
The enclosure was the letter from Leyson Lewis, [before 6 August 1874]. See n. 1, above.
Masters’s article, with a woodcut portrait of CD, was published in Gardeners’ Chronicle, 6 March 1875, pp. 308–9.


Thanks for the monoecious hop. It was the first monstrosity he ever observed.

Contemplates an article in Gardeners’ Chronicle on the horticultural bearing of CD’s fertilisation work.

Will publish note forwarded by CD on a male hop with apparently female flowers (Gardeners’ Chronicle, 8 August 1874, p. 174). 

Letter details

Letter no.
Maxwell Tylden Masters
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Gardeners’ Chronicle
Source of text
DAR 171: 85
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9591,” accessed on 21 July 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 22