Hooker, Sir Joseph Dalton
Cannes, France
JDH/2/16 f.14
Thiselton-Dyer, Sir William Turner
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
© Descendants of Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker
Letters to Thiselton-Dyer
The Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Original MS
4 page letter over 1 folio

JDH reports that the slightly cold weather in Cannes & Montpellier have aggravated his rheumatism. Criticises the maintenance of [Jules Emille] Planchon's garden in Montpellier & attributes this to the fact that they try to grow twice as many species as necessary on a small budget. The aging Professor Charles Martins gave a charming tour of the garden. At Montpellier station met with [Hugh Algernon] Weddell arriving from Cette [Sète], where he had been doing lichen research. Mrs [Frances] Hooker is going to Florence to stay with Miss Galton. JDH is happy 'to miss' the presidency of 'Section D' [at the Florence International Botanical Congress] & supports [John] Tyndall for a vice-presidency. Mentions the Roman ruins at Nimes & a trip from Nimes to Pont du Gard ruin, where he gather 42 species in a single spot. Tomorrow they leave for Antibes where they may see [George James] Allman if he has not left for San Remo. They then go to stay with Mr Hanbury at Mentone [Giardini Botanici Hanbury previously known as Palazzo Orengo], and on to Genoa, Pisa & Florence. JDH reports that [Geroge] Bentham is well but 'put out' to hear that Cambridge Universoty has awarded him the peculiar honour of LL.D. Adds that having met St George Jackson Mivart in Paris & found him to be a willing candidate for secretary of the Linnean Society this information has been met with enthusiasm from Frederick Currie [Currey].


l'université de Cambridge a décidé de lui donner le degré*11 de LL.D. Vraiment c'est un honour très singulier
Je vous ai dit je crois, que nous nous avons rencontré M. Mivart*12 à Paris et qu'il a reçu avec beaucoup de plaisir la proposition qu'il soit secrétaire de la Societé Linnean. Aujourd'hui M.Bentham a reçu une réponse a sa letter à M. Currie[sic]*13 dans laquelle il a annoncé la communication qu'il a fait a Mivart – et M.Currie[sic] en est très content.
Madame Hooker vous envoie ses souvenirs affectueuses |tout a votre Coeur | Joseph Hooker.[signature]

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Transcriptions of this letter, below, have been provided in both the original language of authorship, French, and as an English transcription.
Le 1r mai, 1874
Cher M. Dyer*1
Je vous remercie beaucoup pour vos lettres d'avril 25 et 27, 28 que j'ai reçues après à mon arrivée ici cet après midi. Le temps a été fort beau, mais un peu froid, et j'ai souffert de la rheumatism que m'attaquait dans le jardin de M. Planchon*2 à Montpellier où j'ai vous vu plusiers fortes belles espèces de plantes herbaces. Le jardin botanique à Montpellier est très mal soignée en toutes les rapports. On se plaigne beaucoup de de peu d'argent qu'on leur donne pour le mantien du jardin non obstenant[?] ils cultivent deux fois plus des espèces qu'il soit utile ou nécessaire

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de sorte que toutes sont mal cultivées. Nous avons vu Professor C. Martins*3 qui commence a [word.illeg.] vieiller et qui aussi boite un peu – il était très amiable et nous a conduit dans le jardin. À la gare de Montpellier nous avons recontré M Weddell*4 qui venait [word illeg] d'y arrivait à été de retour de Cette*5 ou il a fait des recherches lichendopiques[?] sans aucune resultat.
Madame Hooker passera chez Mademoiselle Galton[?] à Florence. Quant a la Presidency de la Section D. Je suis bien aise que je le manquerai. Je suis tout fait à la disposition de M. Tyndall*6 pour un sous Presidency, s'il lui conviens.
Les ruines Romaines a Nîmes sont magnifiques. [word illeg.]Hier nous avons

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faites le voyage (de 13[?] Miles) de Nîmese [word illeg.]au Pont du Gard, une ruine vraiment superbe dans une valée très pittoresque. Quand je suis resté assis sur la terre j'ai cueille 42 espèces de plantes sans changer de place!
Demain nous partirons d'ici pour Antibes, ou il y a une bonne hôtel. C'est possible que nous le y trouverons M.Almann*7, mais je crains qu'il sera parti pour San Remo.
Lundi nous prenderons la route pour Mentone*8 et nous passerons 2 jours avec M. Hanbury*9. Puis nous irons à Genoa, et nous resterons là une journee, -puis à Pisa, et Florence.
M Bentham*10 se porte très bien, et même joyeux! Mais il est tres faché d'entendre que

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l'université de Cambridge a décidé de lui donner le degré*11 de LL.D. Vraiment c'est un honour très singulier
Je vous ai dit je crois, que nous nous avons rencontré M. Mivart*12 à Paris et qu'il a reçu avec beaucoup de plaisir la proposition qu'il soit secrétaire de la Societé Linnean. Aujourd'hui M.Bentham a reçu une réponse a sa letter à M. Currie[sic]*13 dans laquelle il a annoncé la communication qu'il a fait a Mivart – et M.Currie[sic] en est très content.
Madame Hooker vous envoie ses souvenirs affectueuses |tout a votre Coeur | Joseph Hooker.[signature]

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1st May, 1874
Dear Dyer*1,
Thank you very much for your letters of April 25, 27 and 28 that I received on my arrival here this afternoon. The weather has been very fine, though a little cold and I am suffering from the rheumatism that attacked me in Mr Planchon's*2 garden in Montpellier where I saw several very beautiful varieties of perennial plants, The Botanical garden in Montpellier is very poorly looked after in every respect. They complain a great deal of the small amount of money they are given for its maintenance, none the less[?] they cultivate twice as many species as are useful or necessary

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so that all of them are badly cared for.
We met Professor C. Martins*3 who is beginning to age and who also limps a little – he was very charming and showed us round the garden.
At the station in Montpellier we met Mr Weddell*4 who had just arrived from Cette*5 where he had undertaken research on lichens without any result.
Mrs Hooker will go to stay with Miss Galton[?] in Florence. As to the Presidency of Section D / I am happy to miss it. I entirely support Mr Tyndall*6 for a vice-presidency if that suits him
The Roman ruins at Nimes are very fine. Yesterday we

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made the trip (13[?] Miles) from Nimes to the Pont du Gard, a really splendid ruin in a picturesque valley. Sitting down on the ground, I gathered 42 species of plants without moving from the spot!
Tomorrow we leave here for Antibes where there is a good Hotel. It is possible that we shall find Mr Almann*7 there, but I fear he will have left for San Remo.
On Monday we set out for Mentone*8 and we shall spend 2 days with Mr Hanbury*9. Then we shall go to Genoa, and stay there a day -- then to Pisa and Florence.
Mr Bentham*10 is very well, in very good spirits even! But he is very put out to hear that

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Cambridge University has decided to give him the degree*11 of LL.D. It is really a very peculiar honour.
I think I told you that we met Mr Mivart*12 in Paris and that he had greatly welcomed the proposal that he become secretary of the Linnean Society. Mr Bentham has had a response to his letter to Mr Currie[sic]*13 in which he conveyed the information he had sent to Mr Mivart -- and Mr Currie[sic] is very pleased about it.
Mrs Hooker remembers you affectionately | Most sincerely yours | Joseph Hooker [signature]


1. Sir William Thiselton-Dyer (1843--1928. British Botanist and third Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (1885--1905) He succeeded Joseph Hooker in the role after serving as his Assistant Director for ten years. He married Hooker's eldest daughter Harriet in1877.
2. Jules Emile Planchon (1823--1888). Received a doctorate from the University of Montpellier in 1844, then worked for a time at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. In 1853 he became head of the Department of Botanical Sciences, University of Montpellier. He was known for his work on plant classification and for his contribution to saving French wine production from the devastations of Phylloxera vastatrix by introducing the practice of grafting onto American vine stocks.
3. Charles Frédéric Martins (1806--1889). In 1846 he became Professor of Botany at the University of Montpellier. He also published on geology and meteorology.
4. Hugh Algernon Weddell (1819--1877). Born in England he lived in France from an early age and was educated there; he qualified in medicine in 1842 then worked with leading French botanists and in 1843 joined the scientific expedition to South America led by the Comte de Castelnau. On his return to Paris in 1848, he took up a post at the Musée National d'Histoire Naturelle and published works on South American flora including Cinchona. He was also interested in lichens and began to publish on them in the 1870s.
5. Sète, a town in the Hérault, spelt Cette till 1928.
6. John Tyndall (1820--1893). Published extensively on a wide range of scientific topics including glaciers. From 1853--1887 he was Professor of Natural Philosophy at the British Institution. In 1864 together with Hooker and other supporters of Darwin he founded the 'X club' to promote and develop British science. His Presidential Address to the British Association for the Advancement of Science in 1874 asserting the primacy of scientific over religious explanation of the world caused a scandal.
7. George James Allman (1812-1898). Born in Ireland he became Professor of Botany at Dublin 1844-54, then moved to Scotland where he was Professor of Natural History at Edinburgh 1854--1870. He later moved to Dorset for health reasons, but was President of the Linnean Society from 1874 to 1883. He was noted for his contributions to marine zoology.
8. Mentone: Hooker uses the Italian spelling of Menton, a commune in the Alps Maritimes, which after a history under various jurisdictions including, Genoa, Monaco and the Kingdom of Savoy was annexed to France with the County of Nice in1861.
9. Thomas Hanbury (1832--1907). After great success as a trader and businessman in China, he bought the gardens at La Mortola, near Ventimiglia, in 1867 and with the help of his brother Daniel (1825-1875), botanist and pharmacologist, established a botanic garden there. He settled there 1871and continued to develop the garden. In 1903 he presented a 60 acre site at Wisley, Surrey to the Royal Horticultural Society.
10. George Bentham (1800--1884). Nephew and heir to Jeremy Bentham for whom he also acted a secretary. After his uncle's death he devoted himself to botany, especially plant classification. He worked at Kew at the invitation of Sir William Hooker. He later collaborated with Joseph Hooker on the Genera Plantarum (3 vols 1862-1883). His Handbook of British Flora remained a standard work into the 20th century.
11. Hooker uses the French word signifying a unit of measurement, not an academic qualification.
12. St George Jackson Mivart (1827--1900). He first studied law, then devoted himself to the study of medicine and biology. In 1862 he took the chair of Zoology at the medical School of St Mary's Hospital and in 1869 became a Fellow of the Zoological Society of London. From 1862 he was a fellow of the Linnean Society where he became Secretary from 1874 to 1880. Initially an enthusiastic supporter of natural selection and of Darwin he later became highly critical. A converted Catholic, he attempted to reconcile evolutionary notions with catholic doctrine, incurring the rage of the church; he was placed under an interdict in 1900.
13. Frederick Currey (1819--1881). Mycologist. Called to the bar, 1844. Secretary, Linnean Society of London, 1860--80; vice-president and treasurer, 1880--1. One of the editors of the Natural History Review.
Please note that work on this transcript is ongoing. Users are advised to study electronic image(s) of this document where possible.

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