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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   30 November [1874]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. | Railway Station | Orpington. S.E.R.

Nov. 30th

My dear Hooker.

I declare I wonder that you are alive, considering the work which you have to do— It is enough to kill anyone. I have this day despatched a letter to Farrer, with the enclosures, urging him, if he can, to do what you suggested, ie to persuade Sir S. Northcote to consider the case of Kew himself & not throw it over to a subordinate.2 I am sure he will wish to aid in any way, but I do not know on what terms he may be with his brother-in-law—3 I hope with all my heart & soul you may succeed.

Ever yours | C. Darwin

I see Huxley will go, & I hope it may answer, but it is a great risk.—4

I said that you were thinking of resigning if Government would not give required aid. of an Assistant Secretary to the Institution.—5

The Russian cigarettes are excellent.—


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from J. D. Hooker, 28 November 1874.
See letter to T. H. Farrer, 29 November [1874]. CD had asked Hooker to outline his workload as part of his appeal for government funds to employ an assistant (see letter to J. D. Hooker, 26 November [1874]). Stafford Northcote was chancellor of the Exchequer.
Thomas Henry Farrer was Northcote’s brother-in-law.
Thomas Henry Huxley had agreed to give a course of lectures at the University of Edinburgh in the summer of 1875 (see enclosure to letter from J. D. Hooker, 25 November 1874).


Has forwarded JDH’s memorial to T. H. Farrer to take up with Sir Stafford Northcote and to ask him to consider the case of Kew personally. Has told Farrer that JDH was thinking of resigning if Government would not give him an assistant secretary.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 95: 347–348
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9738,” accessed on 2 February 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 22