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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Frances Harriet Hooker   1 November [1866]1

My dear Mr. Darwin

In case you do not see “Notes & Queries”, I cannot help sending you this paragraph from this week’s No.2

“It is not generally known that the views on the development of life, which have been made popular by Mr. Darwin’s work on the Origin of Species, are entirely due to his grandfather, Dr. Darwin. For proof of this see “A sketch of the Life & works of Erasmus Darwin”, published by Lewis, 136, Gower St.”— —3

Honour to whom honour is due!—4

Joseph seems to have enjoyed his stay at Lord Lovelace’s pretty place in Somerset very much—5 he is now at Pembroke Dock, with Dr. Lyall—6

Your two foreigners made their appearance with your letter of introduction one day this week— of course they were disappointed of seeing Joseph—7

With kind love to Mrs. Darwin & your daughters,8 | believe me | Yours affectly. | F H Hooker

Kew. W.

Novr. 1.


The year is established by the reference to the article in Notes and Queries (see n. 2, below).
The reference is to an article discussing the date of Erasmus Darwin’s death, signed ‘D.’, that appeared in the 27 October 1866 issue of Notes and Queries, pp. 343–4.
The writer refers to Dowson 1861. CD’s views on descent are compared with those of Erasmus Darwin on pp. 35–7.
Rom. 13: 1–7.
The references are to Joseph Dalton Hooker, William King-Noel (first Earl Lovelace), and the Lovelace estate of Ashley Combe in Somerset (see Woolley 1999, p. 171).
Pembroke Dock, a town on the Cleddau river in west Wales, had a government dockyard where ships were built for the Royal Navy. David Lyall had served with Hooker on the Antarctic expedition of 1839 to 1843 (R. Desmond 1994).
CD had given Ernst Haeckel a letter of introduction to Hooker (see letter to J. D. Hooker, [21 October 1866]). Haeckel’s companion was probably the German zoologist, Richard Greeff, who accompanied Haeckel to Lisbon on his way to Madeira (Krauße 1987, p. 77).
Emma Darwin, Henrietta Emma Darwin, and Elizabeth Darwin.


Desmond, Ray. 1994. Dictionary of British and Irish botanists and horticulturists including plant collectors, flower painters and garden designers. New edition, revised with the assistance of Christine Ellwood. London: Taylor & Francis and the Natural History Museum. Bristol, Pa.: Taylor & Francis.

Dowson, John. 1861. Erasmus Darwin: philosopher, poet, and physician. A lecture to the Literary and Philosophical Society of Whitby. London: H. K. Lewis.

Krauße, Erika. 1987. Ernst Haeckel. 2d edition. Leipzig: B. G. Teubner.

Woolley, Benjamin. 1999. The bride of science: romance, reason and Byron’s daughter. Basingstoke: Macmillan.


Mentions a note in Notes and Queries [3d ser. 10 (1866): 343–4] which refers to A sketch of the life and works of Erasmus Darwin.

Letter details

Letter no.
Frances Harriet Henslow/Frances Harriet Hooker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 104: 242–3
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5263,” accessed on 7 October 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 14