Hooker, Sir Joseph Dalton
8 Windsor Terrace, West Glasgow, [Scotland, United Kingdom]
JDH/2/16 f.33
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 & his wife, Hyacinth, intend to go to Skye with Mrs Lyell, Ruamond, Arthur, Mr [William Samuel?] Symonds & Miss Turner. JDH & Hyacinth will then go to Aviemore & afterwards to stay with the Grants, then home via the Colevile's near Dunfermline. JDH describes Professor Peter Guthrie Tait's lecture on force at the British Association meeting as extremely bad & an attack on John Tyndall, which has distressed Thomas Andrews, President of the Association, & Sir Charles Wyville Thomson. JDH thought Andrews' address poor, Alfred Russel Wallace's excellent, Evans' & Charles Merrifield's good but Alfred Newton's miserable. JDH hopes to report favourably on Sir William Turner Thiselton-Dyer's [WTTD] 'application' soon, there have been some procedural objections enumerated in a letter from Newton [letter not present]. JDH & George Bentham will attend the next Committee of Recommendations & act on WTTD's behalf.


hardly do anything in town & at the Association in the same day.

Ever most sincerely yours | Jos. D. Hooker [signature]

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Glasgow Sunday
Sept[ember] 10 [18]76

My dear Dyer*1
I think it is settled that we shall try Skye, the we including Mrs Lyell Ruamond & Arthur, Mr Symonds*2 & Miss Turner .-- & then my wife and I will proceed to Aviemore & after a few days with the Grants, turn south & home via the Coleviles near Dunfermline. We are quite overwhelmed with invitations & have made a perfect holocaust of them.
The feature of the Association*3 has been Tait's*4 Lecture on Force

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which consisted of an aggravated assault on Tyndall*5, most able, most humorous, most cruel & simply execrable in tone gesture & matter. It has greatly disgusted his friends, especially poor Andrews*6 who insisted on Tait lecturing, & Sir W. Thomson*7 who has twice spoken to me about it with great concern. Andrew's address I thought very poor. Wallace's*8 excellent, Evan's*9 & Merrifield's*10 both good but Newton's*11 miserable.
The absence of familiar faces

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at the Association is quite remarkable.
I hope to report favourably on your application by tomorr[ow] but objects were raised in the Committee on the grounds that according to the wording the application should have come from the Linnean.
I forward Newton's letter & shall act (with [George] Bentham) accordingly. I could not get to the last Committee of Recommendations, but shall I hope to the next. The distances here are so enormous, that one can

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hardly do anything in town & at the Association in the same day.

Ever most sincerely yours | Jos. D. 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 also married Hooker's eldest daughter Harriet in 1877.
2. Probably Reverend William Samuel Symonds (1818--1887). English geologist; father of Hyacinth Hooker.
3. The British Association for the Advancement of Science. The 46th meeting of the Association took place in Glasgow in September 1876 and was published in a report in 1897. Available from: http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/94480#page/5/mode/1up
4. Professor Peter Guthrie Tait (1831--1901). Scottish mathematical physicist best known for the energy physics textbook Treatise on Natural Philosophy, which he co wrote with William Thomson, Lord Kelvin.
5. John Tyndall (1820--1893). A prominent 19th Century physicist who published many science books and brought experimental physics to a wider audience.
6. Professor Thomas Andrews (1813--1885). President of the British Association at Glasgow in 1876. Professor of Chemistry.
7. Sir George Wyville Thomson (1830--1882). Scottish natural historian and marine zoologist. Chief scientist on the HMS 'Challenger' Expedition. His work during the expedition revolutionised oceanography.
8. Alfred Russel Wallace (1822--1913). British naturalist, explorer, geographer, anthropologist and biologist. Best known for independently conceiving the theory of evolution through natural selection. His paper on the subject was jointly published with some of Charles Darwin's writing in 1858.
9. John Evans (1823--1908). English archaeologist and geologist.
10. Charles Watkins Merrifield (1827--1884). Mathematician. Principal of the Royal School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering 1864--1873.
11. Alfred Newton (1829--1907). Professor of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy, University of Cambridge.

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