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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   [10 June 1847]

Down Farnborough Kent


My dear Hooker

Many thanks for your kindness about the lodgings—it will be of great use to me. Please let me know the address if Mrs. Jacobson1 succeeds, for I think I shall go on the 22d & write previously to my lodgings. I have since had a tempting invitation from Daubeny2 to meet Henslow &c, but upon the whole, I believe, lodgings will answer best, for then I shall have a secure solitary retreat to rest in.—

I am extremely glad I sent the Laburnum:3 the raceme grew in centre of tree & had a most minute tuft of leaves, which presented no unusual appearance: there is now on one raceme a terminal bilateral bilateral flower & on another raceme a single terminal pure yellow & one adjoining bilateral flower. If you wd. like them I will send them; otherwise I wd. keep them to see whether the bilateral flowers will seed, for Herbert says the yellow ones will.—4 Herbert is wrong in thinking there are no somewhat analogous facts; I can tell you some, when we meet.— I know not whether Botanists consider each petal & stamen an individual; if so there seems to me no especial difficulty in the case, but if a flower bud is a unit, are not these flowers very strange?— I have seen Dillwynn in Gardeners’ Chron.5 & was disgusted at it, for I thought my bilateral flowers wd. have been a novelty for you.— Is Cybele the Phytologist?6 if so I shd. be very glad of it— You can send it from Kew (if there are many volumes had they not better be in a Box which shall be returned) directed to “C. Darwin Esq. care of G. Snow Nag’s Head Borough7 Can you lend me any full treatise on grafting, more especially Thouin or Cabanis?8 I have seen Morton (Lyell sent it me): it is a compilation without going to original sources, & therefore, full of small inaccuracies.9 We shall have lots to talk about at Oxford.—

Thanks for your invitation to Kew, but I shall keep myself quiet for Oxford, though I shd. have enjoyed being with you & meeting Watson & Harvey: I shall like to hear whether my Nulliporæ turned out of any use.—10 It wd. save time, I think, if you could arrange Dropmore on our return from Oxford— Will you allow me to ask Hensleigh Wedgwood to meet us there, as he says he shd. enjoy it much.—

I went up yesterday afternoon for the Council & returned here again— I saw poor Falconer & thought he looked ill— Sir Henry Dela beche, was speaking at the Council with high praise of your coal-doings & it rejoiced me to perceive that he somewhat appreciates you.—11 He certainly is a wonderfully clever hand at picking out good men.— We had here a most wretchedly distressing day on Saturday, with our poor little youngest child12 seized with a convulsion fit; but he has had no return & is going on very well.

Ever yours | C. Darwin

The books had better be sent on next Tuesday.


Hooker’s aunt, Eleanor Jane Jacobson née Turner.
Charles Giles Bridle Daubeny, professor of chemistry at Oxford University, 1822–55.
Herbert 1847, p. 100. CD scored the relevant passage in his copy of the paper (Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL).
Lewis Weston Dillwyn had described the three kinds of flowers found on his own garden specimen of Cytisus in Gardeners’ Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette no. 21, 22 May 1841, p. 325, and again in issue no. 23, 5 June 1841, p. 366. Hooker undoubtedly knew of Dillwyn’s interest in the problem through having stayed at Dillwyn’s home, Sketty Hall near Swansea, during his visit to the South Wales coalfields in May and June 1846 (L. Huxley ed. 1918, 1: 210).
Hewett Cottrell Watson published regularly in the Phytologist and issued his Cybele Britannica in four volumes (Watson 1847–59). The entire work is in the Darwin Library–CUL, with volume one inscribed ‘from the author’. Darwin recorded having read the first volume on 9 July 1847. On 13 July he noted that he had read volumes one and two of Phytologist‘to page 806’, which was probably the end of the numbers sent by Hooker (DAR 119; Correspondence vol. 4, Appendix IV; Vorzimmer 1977, p. 138, where, however, Cybele Britannica is mistakenly identified as the name for Watson’s articles in the Phytologist of May–July 1847).
George Snow operated a weekly carrier service between Down and London.
Thouin 1810; Cabanis 1764. André Thouin, who had been head-gardener of the Jardin des plantes, is cited in Natural selection, p. 420.
Henry Thomas De la Beche, director-general of the Geological Survey, was president of the Geological Society in 1847. Hooker was botanist to the Geological Survey.
George Howard Darwin, born 9 July 1845.


Cabanis, Jean Baptiste. 1764. Essai sur les principes de la greffe, et sur les moyens de la faciliter et de la perfectionner. Paris.

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Natural selection: Charles Darwin’s Natural selection: being the second part of his big species book written from 1856 to 1858. Edited by R. C. Stauffer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1975.

Thouin, André. 1810. Description de l’École d’Agriculture Pratique du Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle: des exemples de toutes les sortes de Greffes exposées dans cette École. Annales du Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle 16: 209–39.

Vorzimmer, Peter J. 1977. The Darwin reading notebooks (1838-1860). Journal of the History of Biology 10: 107–53.

Watson, Hewett Cottrell. 1847–59. Cybele Britannica; or British plants and their geographical relations. 4 vols. London: Longman.


Gives further details on peculiar Laburnum.

Can JDH lend him a full treatise on grafting?

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 114: 94
Physical description
ALS 4pp & C

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1095,” accessed on 4 June 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 4