Hooker, Sir Joseph Dalton
The Camp, Sunningdale, Berkshire, United Kingdom
JDH/2/16 f.193
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
3 page letter over 1 folio

JDH acknowledges Sir William Thiselton-Dyers congratulations on his 'Swedish award' [Commemorative Gold Medal presented by the Regia Academia Scientiarum Suecica, Uppsala for the Linnean Bicentenary]. Some correspondence from Sir Edward Grey transmitted with the medal may be published in the BULLETIN OF MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS, KEW. JDH goes on to mention those who will be attending his birthday celebration: a deputation from the B.S. [Botanical Society of London?], his granddaughter Frances Harriet Thiselton-Dyer, Harrinay[?], his children Grace Ellen Hooker & William Henslow Hooker & his cousin; botanical artist Matilda Smith. Hopefully RBG Kew Director David Prain will also attend. They will miss Harriet Thiselton-Dyer's company. JDH fears his wife Lady Hyacinth Hooker may be too unwell for the gathering as she suffers with gout. JDH has heard from George King that he is still unwell & going from Wales to stay with his friend [David Douglas] Cunningham in Torquay. JDH reports that Sir Richard Strachey has 'come down in the world' & been forced to sell his house in Lancaster Gate & retire to Hampstead, JDH is very sad for his old, infirm friend.


our friend Strachey*13 has come down in the world & had has to give up his beautiful house in Lancaster Gate & retire to Hampstead. He is just my age & very infirm. It is very sad & I feel it deeply.
With love to Harriet.
Ev[er] aff[ectionatel]y | Jos D Hooker [signature]

Page 1

June 21 1907*1
My dear Dyer*2
I should earlier have thanked you for your letter of 6 & kind congratulations upon the Swedish award*3. This was indeed an undreamed of honor, & the circumstances under which it was presented were in every way most gratifying. Not less to me so were the few kind words from Sir E Grey*4 with which he transmitted the medal to me a week ago. Prain*5 proposes to print the correspondence in the Bulletin*6 Proud as I may well be of the medal, & all it means it does not eclipse the Linnean on various[?] accounts.
Yours is the first intimation I have had of the deputation of the B.S.*7 coming on [word crossed out, illeg] my birthday. Lady [Hyacinth]

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Hooker I now find has been making preparations for it weeks ago. I am indeed glad that you & Frances*8 will come. We shall have a large party --F. Darwin*9 who will stay the night, Grace]*9a, Harrinay[?], Willy*9b, Miss Smith*10, & I hope Prain*10a. We shall miss Harriet*11 very much. We will find a cubicle for the night for you. Lady H finds that the deputation cannot come in time for lunch. I hope that no further speech than thanks from me will be expected. My great fear is of Lady H being knocked up -- she has suffered so much from gout in the left hand & knees of late.
I have just heard from King*12 in Wales -- as delicate as ever. He is going to Torquay to his friend [David Douglas] Cunningham.
You will be sorry to know that

Page 3

our friend Strachey*13 has come down in the world & had has to give up his beautiful house in Lancaster Gate & retire to Hampstead. He is just my age & very infirm. It is very sad & I feel it deeply.
With love to Harriet.
Ev[er] aff[ectionatel]y | Jos D Hooker [signature]


1. A note written in another hand records that the letter was "Ans[wered]d 25.vi.07".
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. Commemorative Gold Medal presented by the Regia Academia Scientiarum Suecica, Uppsala for the Linnean Bicentenary.
4. Edward Grey, Viscount Grey of Fallodon, (1862--1933). Politician, countryman, and author; Foreign Secretary, 1905--1916.
5. Lieut-Col David Prain (1857--1944). Director of Kew, 1905--1922.
6. Bulletin of Miscellaneous Information (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew) later the Kew Bulletin
7. Possibly Botanical Society of London founded 1836, later the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland
8. Frances Harriet Thiselton-Dyer, Hooker's granddaughter, daughter of William and Harriet Thiselton-Dyer
9. Sir Francis 'Frank' Darwin (1848--1925). Son of British naturalist and scientist Charles Darwin. Franks followed his father into botany and was also known for his work on phototropism.
9a. Grace Ellen Hooker (1886--1953). Joseph Hooker's daughter by his first wife Frances Hooker née Henslow.
9b. William Henslow Hooker (1853--1942). Eldest child of Joseph and Frances Hooker; Willy was sent to New Zealand for his health and lived with James and Georgiana Hector 1869--70; employed by India Office 1877; visited Iceland 1899; married Sarah Ann Smith (1863--1952) in 1914.
10. Possibly Matilda Smith (1854--1926). Botanical illustrator. Smith was the second cousin of Joseph Dalton Hooker, who arranged for her training in botanical illustration at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. She contributed plates to Curtis's Botanical Magazine from 1878, becoming one of its key illustrators. She also provided illustrations for Hooker's work Icones Plantarum and in 1898 became Kew's first official artist. She retired from Kew in 1921 and in the same year was made a Fellow of the Linnean Society, only the second woman to gain the honour.
10a. Sir David David (1857--1944). Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew from 1905 to 1922. A Scottish physician and botanist Prain was in the Indian Medical Service before being appointed curator of the Calcutta herbarium in 1887. From 1889 to 1905 he was Director of the Royal Botanic Garden Calcutta as well as the Botanical Survey of India and Superintendent of Cinchona Cultivation in Bengal. From 1898 he was Professor of Botany at the Medical College of Calcutta until 1905 when he came to Kew as the Gardens' fourth director.
11. Harriet Anne Thiselton-Dyer née Hooker (1854--1945). Oldest child of Joseph Hooker and his first wife Frances Henslow. Harriet was a 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.
12. Sir George King (1840--1909). Superintendent of the Royal Botanic Garden, Calcutta and Cinchona cultivation in Bengal, 1871--1898. First Director of the Botanical Survey of India, 1890--1898. King was awarded the Linnean Medal in 1901. He was recognized for his work in the cultivation of cinchona and for setting up a system for the inexpensive distribution of quinine throughout India through the postal system.
13. Sir Richard Strachey (1817--1908). Scientist and administrator in India; studied botany under Major E Madden; in 1848 visited Tibet with the botanist J E Winterbottom collecting over 2000 botanical specimens of which thirty-two new species and varieties bear Strachey's name.

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