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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   14 June [1872]1

Bassett | Southampton

June 14th

My dear Hooker

I signed with real pleasure yesterday the memorial.— The man was in a great hurry & William had to send him back in his carriage so as to catch the return train; & in the hurry I addressed the memorial to Tyndall & hope I did not thus cause any delay or confusion.—2 The memorial seems to me very clear & good; but I cannot help fearing too severe, not against justice, but for policy. I enjoyed the severity much; but on reflexion became fearful about it.—

I have not written to you for a long time, as all your time must be absorbed; but you have often been in my mind. I was very glad a week ago to have had the chance of a long talk to Lady Derby about your affairs, & as she went away, she said of her own accord, I shall repeat all what you have said to Ld. Derby.3

We remain here till next Thursday morning.

May all your enemies be cursed, is my pious frame of mind, | Yours affectionately | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from J. D. Hooker, 15 June 1872.
See letter from John Tyndall, 8 June [1872], and letter from J. D. Hooker to W. E. Darwin, [13 June 1872]. For the memorial organised by Tyndall in support of Hooker in a dispute over the administration of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, see the enclosure to the letter from John Lubbock to W. E. Gladstone, 20 June 1872. CD and Emma Darwin stayed with William Erasmus Darwin at Bassett, Southampton, from 8 June to 20 June 1872 (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)).
The earl and countess of Derby, Edward Henry Stanley and Mary Catherine Stanley, were renting Holwood House, Beckenham, near Down (see letter from M. C. Stanley, 4 June 1872 and n. 3). Lord Derby, a member of the Tory opposition, had already been consulted on the best strategy for presenting Hooker’s case in parliament, and had received copies of the correspondence regarding Hooker’s case from Tyndall (MacLeod 1974, pp. 60–1).


MacLeod, Roy M. 1974. The Ayrton incident: a commentary on the relations of science and government in England, 1870–1873. In Science and values: patterns of tradition and change, edited by Arnold Thackray and Everett Mendelsohn. New York: Humanities Press.


Has signed the memorial by men of science with real pleasure. Fears it may be too severe. He told Lady Derby about JDH’s troubles. She said she would tell Lord Derby what he had said.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 94: 220–1
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8385,” accessed on 18 May 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 20