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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. D. Hooker   30 June 1873


June 30/73.

Dear Darwin

I have long been wanting to know what you were doing: & am so very glad to find that you are at Drosera again.1

We are on the move, I go, as you know, on Wednesday, & hope to take great care of Huxley—2 My wife & the little ones go to Broadstairs for a month,3 Willy remains at home, & will also go up & down to Broadstairs; Charlie will board at the International   The luckless Brian has whooping cough at Dr Spyers with the rest of the school!4

I am indeed pleased that you are satisfied with Bentham’s address;5 as, if I [outlive] him, I should like to bring out all his Addresses in a volume. We have elected A Gray a Foreign F.R.S. which he will I hope be pleased with.6

Were you not struck with Allmans work on the Hydroid Tubularias,—7 I proposed, & Huxley seconded him, for one of the Royal Medals, which I hope we shall carry—8 H. asked me to draw up the recommendation, which I dread doing: will you bless me by glancing at the enclosed.9 I really am no judge of his works, & have no one to help me   I must ask you to return it by return of post if you conveniently can.

So poor Lyell is off to Switzerland to see Heer—a very hazardous journey for one so feeble & helpless.— & without his wife!10 but I suppose that he wants excitement.

I am going to ask you to let me bring Genl Strachy to Down one Sunday when I return—11 & take the chance of seeing you at lunch.

Ever yours affecte | Jos D Hooker


Hooker travelled with Thomas Henry Huxley to France and Germany. Huxley had been advised by his physician to take a holiday abroad (see L. Huxley ed. 1900, 1: 390–1).
The youngest children of Joseph and Frances Harriet Hooker were Reginald Hawthorn (aged 6) and Grace Ellen (aged 5).
William Henslow Hooker was the Hooker’s eldest child. Charles Paget Hooker was attending the International College at Isleworth, London. Brian Harvey Hodgson Hooker was at Weybridge School in Surrey, where Thomas Spyers was headmaster. (L. Huxley ed. 1918, 2: 182; Alum. Cantab.)
CD had praised George Bentham’s presidential address to the Linnean Society (Bentham 1873b; see letter to J. D. Hooker, 28 June 1873 and nn. 3 and 4).
Asa Gray was elected a foreign member of the Royal Society of London in 1873 (Record of the Royal Society of London).
George James Allman had sent CD the proof-sheets of A monograph of the gymnoblastic or tubularian hydroids (Allman 1871–2). See Correspondence vol. 19, letter from G. J. Allman, 4 November 1871.
Allman was awarded the Royal Medal of the Royal Society at the anniversary meeting in November 1873 (Proceedings of the Royal Society of London 22 (1873–4): 11). Hooker was, as president of the Royal Society, a member of the Royal Society Council, which chose the recipients of its annual awards; Huxley, as secretary of the Royal Society, was also a member of the council (Proceedings of the Royal Society of London 21 (1872–3): 32).
The enclosure has not been found.
Charles Lyell’s wife, Mary Elizabeth, died on 24 April 1873. Lyell planned to tour the continent with his sister, Marianne, and visit Oswald Heer in Zurich in August (K. M. Lyell ed. 1881, 2: 451).


Allman, George James. 1871–2. A monograph of the gymnoblastic or tubularian hydroids. 2 vols. London: Ray Society.

Alum. Cantab.: Alumni Cantabrigienses. A biographical list of all known students, graduates and holders of office at the University of Cambridge, from the earliest times to 1900. Compiled by John Venn and J. A. Venn. 10 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1922–54.

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Record of the Royal Society of London: The record of the Royal Society of London for the promotion of natural knowledge. 4th edition. London: Royal Society. 1940.


Leaves Wednesday with Huxley for holiday.

Family news.

He too thinks well of Bentham’s address.

Asa Gray elected Foreign F.R.S.

G. J. Allman is being proposed for Royal Medal by JDH and Huxley.

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 103: 157–8
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8958,” accessed on 24 March 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 21