Hooker, Sir Joseph Dalton
The Camp, Sunningdale, Berkshire, United Kingdom
JDH/2/16 f.160
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

Letter in which JDH expresses his feelings at having received an elevation of his knighthood from Knight Commander of the Order of the Star of India to Knight Grand Commander of that order, based on his completion of THE FLORA OF BRITISH INDIA. JDH is pleased that many other scientific men were also on the honours list, particularly Richard Strachey who was exploring the Himalayas at the same time as JDH 50 years previously. JDH thanks William Turner Thiselton-Dyer for sharing the thoughts of Sir Stewart Bailey, who was on the honours council that awarded JDH's promotion, he himself has written to thank Lord George Hamilton, his only acquaintance on the council. JDH is disappointed that Thiselton-Dyer has not been knighted this time but is confident he will be so in JDH's lifetime. JDH mentions that he has spent a wonderful day at Windsor, Eton & Slough & will tell Thiselton-Dyer about it when they attend a Naval Review.


Ever aff[ectionatel]y y[ou]rs | JD Hooker [signature]
My hand shakes with the heat & yesterday[']s work --

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June 24 /[18]97
The Camp,
My dear Dyer*1
A thousand thanks for your affectionate congratulations -- I certainly was taken very much by surprise, never having entertained the idea that services the nature of mine aspired to a first rank in the higher orders of Knighthood -- I tell the truth! I expected nothing after the letter from the Gov[ernmen]t. of India: except a possible K.C.B.*2, which I honestly did not wish for, feeling that the K.C.S.I*3 was, for me, a far choicer

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distinction, & one wholly to my liking.-- As for P.C.*4, except steps were taken to include many other scientific men, it would have been out of place, I think. What you tell me of Sir Stewart Bailey's opinion, & that of his fellow councillors immeasurably heightens the satisfaction with which I regard the gift -- thank you for telling me.
I have written thanking Lord G[eorge]. Hamilton*5, the only one of the council of whom I have any personal knowledge, & that is the slightest. I have told him how great was the pleasure of seeing

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Strachey[']s*6 name with mine -- he having been at work exploring the W[est]. end of the Himalayas whist whilst I was exploring the E[ast]. just half a century ago.
I am disappointed at not seeing your name in the list, which I quite expected to do -- this only delayed, that is very sure, & will in my day I feel very sure.
I was writing to Harriet when your letter came -- or rather inditing my epistle I should say -- I inclose[sic] it with my love.
I've had a wonderful day at Windsor, Eton & Slough, which will keep till we meet at the Naval

Page 4

Ever aff[ectionatel]y y[ou]rs | JD Hooker [signature]
My hand shakes with the heat & yesterday[']s work --


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 Royal Horticultural Society. He married Hooker's eldest
daughter Harriet in 1877.
2. Knight Commander of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath.
3. Knight Commander of the Order of the Star of India.
4. Possibly an abbreviation for 'Privy Councillor'.
5. Lord George Francis Hamilton (1845--1927). British Conservative Party politician.
6. Sir Richard Strachey (1817--1908). British soldier and Indian administrator who also conducted considerable research into the geology, botany and physical geography of the Himalayas.

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