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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. D. Hooker   19 January 1882

Royal Gardens Kew

Jany 19/82

Private

Dear Darwin

The enclosed requires no answer. The history of it is this— I, as a matter of course, informed the Board of your munificent offer, showing what a grand aid it would be to our own work, as well as to Science in general, & how honorable to Kew.1 The 1st. Commr2—(one of your d—d Liberals)—wrote a characteristically illiberal & ill-bred minute on it; addressed to me, in effect warning me against your putting the Board to any expense!— & this though I expressly stated, that “your offer involved the Board in no expense or other responsibility whatever”.—

I flared up at this, & told the Secretary,3 who I saw on the subject) that the F. C. rather than send me such a minute, should have written a letter of thanks to you—

I suppose that this shamed him, & he has taken me at my word, though I did not seriously contemplate such action.

I have no friend to Kew in Shaw Lefevre— he has not answered either my Memorandum begging for an “enquiry” into the want of aid & appliances at Kew, or the private letter in which, a month afterwards, I begged him to consider it.—& I am now obliged to take steps to get it sent on to the Treasury.

Ever affy yrs | J D Hooker.

Footnotes

The enclosure was the letter from A. B. Mitford, 17 January 1882. CD had agreed to pay £250 a year for a new catalogue of all known plants (see letter from J. D. Hooker, 12 January 1882 and n. 1).
The Board of Works was the Government body that supervised the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; the first commissioner of works was George John Shaw-Lefevre.

Summary

Politics at Kew led to a letter of thanks to CD from the First Commissioner for his gift.

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-13625
From
Joseph Dalton Hooker
To
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Kew
Source of text
DAR 104: 176–7
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 13625,” accessed on 17 April 2024, https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/?docId=letters/DCP-LETT-13625.xml

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