skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To William Jackson Hooker   [23 August 1845]1

Down Bromley Kent


Dear Sir William

I shall have the greatest pleasure in sending you my high opinion of your son; & if I cd. flatter myself that any testimonial from one so little known as myself, could be of the smallest service, I really do not know anything which would so highly gratify me.— I will write tomorrow a letter addressed to you, & if it does not turn out the right thing, I will alter its form, in any way you can suggest. I am truly sorry to say, that my acquaintance with Sir John Herschel is not sufficient to allow me to write to him: I never saw him before at the C. of Good Hope;2 & have dined only once since with him.— I have, however, taken a step, which I trust you will not think meddling or presumptuous; I have written to Lyell (with whom, I am very intimate) to ask him, whether he could write to Herschel, mentioning his own & my own high opinion of your son’s acquirements & talents.— I have not the smallest idea, how far Lyell’s acquaintance would allow him to write; but I feel sure he will excuse my suggesting it to him, if you will do the same. I have been sincerely sorry to hear of the illness in your family.

Believe me | Yours truly obliged | C. Darwin

P.S. | We are much indebted for your kind invitation to Kew, which at some future time, would afford the highest pleasure to Mrs. Darwin & myself.—


Dated by the relationship to the letters to W. J. Hooker, [25 August 1845] and 25 August 1845.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 28 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.


Will be pleased to provide a testimonial for J. D. Hooker, who is seeking the Chair in Botany at Edinburgh, but fears he himself is so little known that it could only be of the smallest service. Has asked Lyell to write to J. F. W. Herschel giving an opinion of J. D. Hooker.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Jackson Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Directors’ Correspondence: English letters 1845, 23: 147)
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 904,” accessed on 17 May 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 3