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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. D. Hooker   [before 9 February 1864]1

Bentham proposes that Scott should be elected an Associate Linn. Soc.—2 If you think so just look at the new regulations regarding Associates in the Bye-laws & communicate with Scott accordingly3

The children are all well; but Willy4 (who has returned to school) does not get strong. I do not think his testes have fully descended, though he is 11 years old;— I am not a good judge of such matters— I took several opportunities of batheing him myself, to observe if I could;—& I have a great aversion to drawing the boys attention to such organs which a close examination would do.— he is clearly half nourished, both muscle & brain: & no amount of food seems to nourish him— he does not feed ravenously but swallows his food without chewing.— he is incessantly in motion, but cares for no one earthly thing, in play even. I am greatly puzzled about him.

Ever yr affec | J D Hooker

Old Horner is I hear very shakey.—5 Lyell6 hints that homeopathy did him mischief.


The date is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to John Scott, 9 February [1864].
Hooker refers to George Bentham, the president of the Linnean Society, and to John Scott.
Hooker may refer to regulations regarding associate members that resulted from new bye-laws established in 1861; these limited associates to twenty-five in number and to ‘such persons as usually reside in the British Dominions’ (1861 Charter and Byelaws of the Linnean Society of London, Chapter 5, Section 2, Library of the Linnean Society). Hooker may also refer to a resolution that he had submitted as a vice-president of the Council of the Linnean Society regarding election of associates; this was adopted by the Council on 6 March 1862 and required associates living in or near London to attend a certain number of meetings, while those living at a greater distance were required to make one scientific communication each year. If these conditions were not met, after three years the associate was to withdraw (‘Resolution of Council regarding election of Associates’, 6 March 1862, Library of the Linnean Society, and Gage and Stearn 1988, pp. 59, 61; see also letter to John Scott, 9 February [1864]and n. 8). The associateship was an honour that was restricted to those who were not financially able to offer their candidacy and whose work as naturalists was expected to benefit the Society (Gage and Stearn 1988, p. 198).
Leonard Horner, who was 79 years old, was terminally ill; he died on 5 March 1864 (K. M. Lyell ed. 1890, 2: 366–7).


Bentham proposes John Scott be made an associate of the Linnean Society.

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 101: 182
Physical description
ALS 2pp inc

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4399,” accessed on 26 November 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 12