Hooker, Joseph
The Dourne, Aviemore, [Scotland, United Kingdom]
JDH/2/16 f.36
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
7 page letter over 2 folios

JDH has received letters forwarded by Sir William Turner Thiselton-Dyer. He is concerned by the letter from Henry Prestoe about the Trinidad Botanic Garden, JDH will talk to the Colonial Office & Secretary of State for Colonies; Henry Herbert. He also recommends that Prestoe get a statement of support for the Trinidad garden into the GARDENERS CHRONICLE & other English papers. Mentions a blunder about a Pelargonium on the part of Alfred Russel Wallace & [John] Morley. JDH thinks that the exhibition of 'Scientific Mind' damaged the reputation of the British Association for the Advancement of Science by including Spiritualism, he thinks it was a poor decision by [Augustus Henry] Lane Fox. Mentions the news that Hevea [rubber] plants are not doing well & says the issue must be addressed with Clements Markham, he suggests an official representation from RBG Kew by [Sir Richard] Strachey, whose scientific position is acknowledged by Lord Salisbury [Robert Gascoyne Cecil, Secretary of State for India]. JDH is not surprised that [George Henry Kendrick] Thwaites does not like his job [of establishing Cinchona nurseries in Ceylon, now Sri Lanka]. JDH mentions an affliction affecting the Darwin family. JDH regrets the death of [Francis] Sibson, his son William Henslow Hooker's mentor. Wonders if [John] Duthie got his letter. Describes the weather in Aviemore. Next JDH will go to Stirling, visit [Brian Houghton] Hodgson & to Ailey Cottage to see Mr Woodward. Letters should be addressed to JDH care of James Findlay, Gargunnock. JDH asks for Thiselton-Dyer's ideas on what he could say at his next Royal Society address, he would like to talk about fossil botany.


concentrate my attention when subjects new to me, & to take them all in when I do!
Ever & very affe[ctionate] | Jos D Hooker [signature]

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The Doune, Aviemore
Sept[ember] 25th [18]76
My dear Dyer*1
I have your three letters & enclosures received here. That of Prestoe*2 is quite very distressing. & I am quite at a loss what to do. Please write him a note by next mail expressing our sympathy & tell him that I shall go to the C[olonial] O[ffice] about it as soon as I return, but that with only his "Strictly private & confidential letter" to act upon, I cannot do much. The best thing I can think of would be that some friend of the Garden in Trinidad would draw up a brief statement for the Gardeners

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Chronicle which we should use our influence to have inserted in as many English papers as possible. -- Impress upon Prestoe that I cannot act upon private & confidential representations to any good purpose. -- I dare say that I could get [Secretary of State for Colonies, Henry] Herbert to write a private caution to the Governor but that would be annulled by private influence in the Island.
I told Wallace*3 of the blunder about the Pelargonium, & he assured me he had Morelys[sic]*4 authority. -- of course it was W[allace's] blunder.
Yes the exhibition "of Scientific mind" as instanced by the day given to Spiritualists was simply most melancholy & damaging to the

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B[ritish] A[ssociation] [for the Advancement of Science] -- I wonder at Lane Fox*5
What you tell me respecting the Heveas*6 is most disheartening. All I can hope for is that if they are killed, it may bring about a better state of things as regards the financial relations of the I[ndia] O[ffice] & Kew. -- that subject must soon be grappled with -- but for a row with Markham*7, the best thing would be an official representation from Kew, approved by Strachey*8 . whose scientific position L[or]d Salisbury*9 acknowledges.
I am not surprized at Thwaite's*10 not quite liking the job. -- he is getting old & as the "Times" says of dizzy [Benjamin Disraeli] it age brings experience but with it the reluctance to

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use it.
I have two letters from Darwin*11 about his affliction:-- it is a terrible blow for poor Frank [Sir Francis "Frank" Darwin] & them all. He was so comfortably settled so happy & so busy: she sharing all his pursuits.
I am very sorry indeed for the death of Sibson,*12 on my account & on Willy's, [William Henslow Hooker] to whom he was the most kind mentor.
I wonder if Duthie*13 got my letter?
This is a most lovely spot, but rainy. Oddly enough whilst we have had superb weather on the West coast, they have had continuous rain on the East. We leave this on Wednesday for Stirling, & that on Saturday

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for [Brian Houghton] Hodgson's who so implored us to visit him in Obt October, that I see no way to this but taking him our ry on our way home. -- We shall probably go hence for 2 nights to Ailey Cottage, where I want to see Mr Woodward, & be back at Kew on Friday.
Please write to me c/o James Findlay Esq, Gargunnock near Stirling. N[orth]. B[ritain]. & let me know your prospective movements. -- I can go home earlier if at all needful or desirable. I send another signed cheque in case of accidents -- I forget how many I signed; but I know I shall be away for

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2 Saturdays longer than I intended.
If your "quick wit" can think of anything for me to say at the R[oyal] S[ociety] address I shall be so much obliged:-- I look with despair on such a session's work as I had last, & I long inexpressibly to throw off the load of London work & society & keep to Kew. I should like to say something about Fossil Botany, & to allude to the biological matters researches in which the instruments exhibited at S[outh] Kensington are concerned, but feel sadly incompetent. I find it so difficult to

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concentrate my attention when subjects new to me, & to take them all in when I do!
Ever & very affe[ctionate] | Jos D Hooker [signature]


1. 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.
2. Henry Prestoe (1842--1923). Government botanist & Superintendent of the Botanic Gardens in Trinidad 1864--1886. He discovered several of the rare orchids of Trinidad. His collections are preserved at Kew and some are in the Trinidad Herbarium.
3. 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.
4. Probably Lord John Morley, a writer and politician and sometime guest of the Darwin supporters' dining club known as "the X Club."
5. Lt. General Augustus Henry Lane-Fox (Pitt Rivers) (1827--1900). English army officer, ethnologist and archaeologist. Noted for innovations in archaeological methodology.
6. Heveas, of which there are 9 species, are rubber trees. RBG Kew was instrumental in transplanting rubber as a cash crop from South America to the East. In 1873 seed was sent from Brazil to RBG Kew & 12 plants were raised and sent to Kolkata but failed. In 1876 larger volumes of seed were collected in Brazil by Henry Wickham and later the Kew-cultivated seedlings were successfully raised in Sri Lanka.
7. Sir Clements Robert Markham (1830--1916).English geographer, explorer and writer. As an employee of the India Office Markham was involved in introducing cultivation of South American crops such as Cinchona, Cotton and Rubber around the British Empire. He was Secretary, and later President of the Royal Geographical Society. He was responsible for organising the National Antarctic Expedition of 1901--1904, and launching the polar career of Robert Falcon Scott.
8. Lieutenant-General Sir Richard Strachey (1817--1908). British soldier and Indian administrator. He spent most of his life in India chiefly employed with public works.
9. Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury (1830--1902), held various political offices, including Secretary of State for India 1874--1878, and finally Prime Minister (1895-1902).
10. George Henry Kendrick Thwaites (1811--1882). English botanist & entomologist. He was interested particularly in the lower plants such as algae and the cryptograms. He was the Superintendent of the Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya, Ceylon [Sri Lanka] from 1849 and established the Cinchona nurseries at Hakgala, Ceylon.
11. Charles Robert Darwin (1809--1882). English naturalist and geologist best known for his contributions to evolutionary theory. He was a great friend of Joseph Hooker before and after the publication of the On the Origin of Species in 1859. Hooker took his "Voyage of the Beagle" as a model for his own travel journals.
12. Francis Sibson (1814--1876). English physician and anatomist. He served as the President of the British Medical Association Council 1866--1869, and later as Vice President for life.
13. John Firminger Duthie (1845--1922). English botanist and explorer. From 1875--1903 he was the Superintendent of Saharanpur Botanical Gardens.

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