Hooker, Sir Joseph Dalton
The Camp, Sunningdale, Berkshire, United Kingdom
JDH/2/16 f.184
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 thanks Sir William Turner Thiselton-Dyer for sending him views of his old home West Park. He reports that Brian [William Hooker, his grandson] has left The Camp despite hearing that 'the India appointment' has been filled. JDH shies away from writing his memoirs but will overcome his aversion & do so at WTTD's suggestion, Lady Hooker already writes down passages of her early life. Dick [Richard Symonds Hooker] has just met a friend of WTTD's, Mr Muirhead, whilst playing a role in a pastoral play. JDH is working on Malayan Balsams but finds they are so succulent & with such minute anthers that they are difficult to work with. Laurence Austine Waddell has presented JDH with a copy of his book 'LHASA AND ITS MYSTERIES - WITH A RECORD OF THE BRITISH TIBETAN EXPEDITION OF 1903-1904'. JDH admires the work & the photographs in it, he wishes there has been a naturalist with the expedition & thinks WTTD should mention the lack to the Indian Government.


It is a monstrous shame that no naturalist accompanied that expedition. I think that in you next recommendations to the Government of India this should be commented on in very strong language.
With love to Harriet*10 & Frances*11,
Ev[e]r Aff[ectionate]ly Y[ou]rs | Jos. D. Hooker [signature]

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Sept[ember] 8 1905
My dear Dyer*3
The views of West Park*4 are charming & warm the cockles of my heart. I thank you very much for them. -- I could tell you the contents or occupier of every room. I think.
Brian*5 left this morning. He felt the parting with Lady Hooker*6 acutely, & no wonder, for she has been indeed a mother to him all along.
He heard just before starting that the India appointment has been filled up in India,

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as I had warned him would in all likely-hood be the case.
You remind me of my duty to indite some passages of my early life, & Lady Hooker often does the same. -- I have an unconquerable aversion to overcome in attempting this, & greatly fear that I shall dismally fail to muster up anything of interest, I shall however try.
Dick*7, who has just come in, tells me that he was accosted by a friend of yours at a Pastoral Play in which he (Dick) took a part, -- a Mr Muirhead.
I am still plodding on at the

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Malayan Balsams: very tedious work: their flowers seem to be more succulent than the Chinese or Indian, & are hence more difficult to moisten & spread-out, with the result of being mere caricatures of the living state. They have for the most part curious anthers; but these minute organs are in the whole genus impracticable in the dried specimens.
Mr [Laurence Austine] Waddell*8 has just presented me with his "Lhasa"*9 -- a superb work, admirable in every respect, chock full of admirable & most instructive photographs, taken by himself, every one of high interest.

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It is a monstrous shame that no naturalist accompanied that expedition. I think that in you next recommendations to the Government of India this should be commented on in very strong language.
With love to Harriet*10 & Frances*11,
Ev[e]r Aff[ectionate]ly Y[ou]rs | Jos. D. Hooker [signature]


1. Handwritten annotation recording the letter as 'an[swere]d 11.IX.’05'.
2. The Camp, Sunningdale, Berks. The Hookers' country retreat to which Hooker permanently retired after leaving Kew.
3. 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.
4. West Park: West Hall, Kew. The home of Sir William Hooker, while Director of Kew Gardens, who rented the house in 1841 and renamed it West Park.
5. Probably Brian William Hooker (1889--1941), grandson of Joseph Hooker, his father was Brian Harvey Hodgson Hooker (1860--1932) the fifth child, third son of Joseph and Frances Hooker, who emigrated to New Zealand but sent his children to be cared for by their grandparents in England during a difficult period in his life.
6. Lady Hyacinth Hooker, née Symonds then Jardine (1842--1921). Daughter of Rev William Samuel Symonds, and widow of Sir William Jardine (1800 -- 1874); second wife of Joseph Hooker, married 1876; two sons: Joseph Symonds (1877 -- 1940) and Richard Symonds (1885 -- 1950).
7. Richard (Dick) Symonds Hooker (1885--1950). Ninth child, sixth son of Joseph Hooker, second child of Joseph's second wife Hyacinth; studied law; married Marjorie Peel (1880 -- 1964) in 1912.
8. Lieutenant Colonel Laurence Austine Waddell (1854--1938). British explorer, Professor of Tibetan, Professor of Chemistry and Pathology, British army surgeon, collector in Tibet, and amateur archaeologist. Waddell also studied Sumerian and Sanskrit; he made various translations of seals and other inscriptions. His reputation as an Assyriologist gained little to no academic recognition and his books on the history of civilization have caused controversy. Some of his book publications however were popular with the public. Some believe him to be the source of the ‘Indiana Jones’ character.
9. Waddell, Laurence Austine, (1905), 'Lhasa and Its Mysteries -- With a Record of the British Tibetan Expedition of 1903-1904'.
10. Harriet Anne Thiselton-Dyer née Hooker (1854--1945). Oldest child of Joseph Hooker and his first wife Frances. Botanical illustrator and wife of William Turner Thiselton-Dyer. Her husband was Assistant Director of RBG Kew (1875--1885) and later Director (1885--1905), succeeding her father.
11. Frances Harriet Thiselton-Dyer (1878--1951). Joseph Hooker's granddaughter. Eldest child of Harriet and William Thiselton-Dyer. Married Leonard William Barnard in 1912.

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