Hooker, Sir Joseph Dalton
Athenaeum Club, Pall Mall, London,United Kingdom
JDH/2/16 f.23
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 asks Thiselton-Dyer to give his opinion on a letter JDH has drafted to the Trustees of the British Museum, concerning JDH's Antarctic collections. Daniel Oliver has already given his opinion but does not consider JDH's position regarding the Royal Society. A copy of the letter will be sent to the Archbishop of Canterbury [Archibald Tait]. JDH refers to an enclosed magnolia [not present] which Alexander MacCleay calls fuscata but which differs from the plants under that name at RBG Kew.


The enclosed Magnolia is called fuscata in MacLeay's*5 Greenhouse, but the flower is far smaller & the bud differently[sic] shaped from ours. V[er]y t[rul]y y[ou]rs | Jos. D. Hooker[signature]

Page 1

Dear Dyer*2
Will you be so kind as to look at the enclosed letter for the Trustees B[ritish] M[useum] & show it to Mr Bentham.*3 Giving me an opinion (which I know will be candid).
I showed Oliver*4 a much longer one, of which this is a condensation. He did not approve, & suggested what accompanies it on a sep slip in his handwriting.

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I feel so sure that the Trustees are the victims of misrepresentation, that I do not like to deal with them other than fully & frankly.
My memory is I think very clear about the Antarctic Collections:-- the Trustees can of course make further inquiries if they think fit. If approved I should get a few copies printed

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confidentially, & send one to the Archbishop of Canterbury semi--officially, asking him to take look into the matter to avoid a serious disturbance of the peace.
Oliver does not consider that as an official Trustee I am responsible to the R[oyal] S[ociety] & that I ought to disarm[?] the Trustees.
I must confess that their ingratitude touches me more than anything else but this is "small" in me I own.

Page 4

The enclosed Magnolia is called fuscata in MacLeay's*5 Greenhouse, but the flower is far smaller & the bud differently[sic] shaped from ours. V[er]y t[rul]y y[ou]rs | Jos. D. Hooker[signature]


1. A note added in pencil, not in the hand of Joseph Hooker, dates the letter to November 1874.
2. Sir William Turner 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 previously held professorships at the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, Royal College of Science for Ireland and the Royal Horticultural Society. He married Hooker's eldest daughter Harriet in 1877.
3. George Bentham (1800--1884). British botanist who donated his herbarium of more than 100,000 specimens to Kew. He spent 27 years with Joseph Hooker in research and examination of specimens for the work Genera Plantarum, an influential work on plant taxonomy which is the foundation of many modern systems of classification.
4. Daniel Oliver (1830--1916). Botanist. In 1858 he was invited to Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew to classify and elaborate the herbarium and library, working for a pittance he supplemented his income by becoming Professor of Botany at University College, London, (1861--1888). Official Librarian of the herbarium at Kew from 1860--1890 and keeper of the herbarium from 1864--1890.
5. Alexander McLeay (1767--1848). Leading member of the Linnean Society, fellow of the Royal Society and member of the New South Wales Legislative Council. He was Colonial Secretary for New South Wales. His chief natural history interest was entomology, principally Lepidoptera.

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