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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   28 November [1880]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. | (Railway Station | Orpington. S.E.R.)

Nov. 28

My dear Hooker

I shd. very much like to see Frank an F.R.S. before I die.2 It appears to me very doubtful whether a father ought to propose a son: I did not do so (or put my name at all down) in the case of George, but then there was the additional reason of my not knowing mathematicks.—3 Will you be so kind as to tell me what you think on this head? Should you object to proposing him? I am sure that this wd. please him much more than my doing so. But I forgot you are (I suppose) on the Council & cannot (I believe) back or propose a man.

Will you let me hear what you think & about the Council. Like an ass I did not keep list of Council.4

Forgive your old friend for troubling you.— | Ever yours | C. Darwin

P.S. I was delighted to get your note about Wallace—whom I pity much.— I have hardly ever wished for anything so much as to get him on the pension list.—5


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from J. D. Hooker, 26 November 1880.
Francis Darwin was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of London after CD’s death on 8 June 1882 (Record of the Royal Society of London).
George Howard Darwin had been elected a fellow of the Royal Society on 12 June 1879 (Record of the Royal Society of London).
Hooker was on the council of the Royal Society until 30 November 1880 (Proceedings of the Royal Society of London 29 (1879): 431; 31 (1880–1): 101).
For Hooker’s letter about signing a memorial in support of a civil list pension for Alfred Russel Wallace, see letter from J. D. Hooker, 26 November 1880.


Record of the Royal Society of London: The record of the Royal Society of London for the promotion of natural knowledge. 4th edition. London: Royal Society. 1940.


Wants to see Frank become F.R.S. before he dies.

Pities Wallace and wants a pension for him very much.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 95: 500–1
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 12870,” accessed on 24 March 2023,