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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Emma Darwin to J. D. Hooker   [28 April 1864]

Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.

Dear Dr Hooker

I am writing instead of Hen1—just to tell you of the Barlaston people—2 Godfrey will be very sorry to miss you   he is the flower of the flock I think & is gone on business to Petersburg3   Clement is a very jolly young man of 23 & I suppose he will not be returned from Germany where he is also on business. The 3rd is at Paris & is younger.4

Then there are 2 daughters & Godfrey’s little boy at home.5

Charles is much interested in your letter (he thought you were ironical about his hand writing but I am sure it was a bona fide compt)6

We have just received a blossom of Rhod Falconeri which has flowered in the open air at my brothers on Leith Hill Surrey.7

This day is a fortnight since he has had any sickness.8

With my love to Mrs Hooker9 yours very truly | E. D.


Godfrey Wedgwood was a partner in the Wedgwood potteries (Wedgwood and Wedgwood 1980, p. 265).
Clement Francis and Laurence Wedgwood were evidently working at the German and French offices of the Wedgwood potteries (see Wedgwood and Wedgwood 1980, p. 265).
Emma probably refers to the two youngest daughters of Francis and Frances Wedgwood, Mabel (born 1852) and Constance Rose (born 1846); Godfrey’s son was Cecil Wedgwood (born 1863) (Freeman 1978, Wedgwood and Wedgwood 1980).
Rhododendron falconeri was one of the rhododendrons collected by J. D. Hooker during his Himalayan travels from 1847 to 1850 and described in J. D. Hooker 1849. Hooker mentioned the species several times in his Himalayan journals (J. D. Hooker 1854), noting that the 30 ft tall tree was ‘in point of foliage the most superb of all the Himalayan species’ (J. D. Hooker 1854, 1: 167). Hooker is credited with introducing the genus to Great Britain for widespread cultivation (Turrill 1963). See also R. Desmond 1999, pp. 128, 134–5, 180. Emma also refers to her brother, Josiah Wedgwood III of Leith Hill Place, Surrey (Freeman 1978).


Desmond, Ray. 1999. Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker, traveller and plant collector. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Antique Collectors’ Club with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Freeman, Richard Broke. 1978. Charles Darwin: a companion. Folkestone, Kent: William Dawson & Sons. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, Shoe String Press.

Hooker, Joseph Dalton. 1849. The rhododendrons of Sikkim-Himalaya; being an account, botanical and geographical, of the rhododendrons recently discovered in the mountains of eastern Himalaya, from drawings and descriptions made on the spot, during a government botanical mission to that country. Edited by William Jackson Hooker. London: Reeve, Benham & Reeve.

Turrill, William Bertram. 1963. Joseph Dalton Hooker. Botanist, explorer, and administrator. London: Thomas Nelson and Sons.

Wedgwood, Barbara and Wedgwood, Hensleigh. 1980. The Wedgwood circle, 1730–1897: four generations of a family and their friends. London: Studio Vista.


Emma prepares JDH for his visit to Wedgwood factory and Barlaston.

Letter details

Letter no.
Emma Wedgwood/Emma Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 115: 232
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4473,” accessed on 22 September 2023,

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