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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. D. Hooker   8 April 1876


April 8/76.


Dear Darwin

Can you send me a few lines favorable (I think you are favorable) to McLachlan’s claims for F.R.S.—1 No one on the Council knows of his labors, & he is just one of those men who gets overlooked through this circumstance. Between ourselves his claims come into competition (as it so happens, in our attempts to represent all branches of Science in the selection) with Garrod’s, a much younger man, equally a specialist, & one who has worked under great opportunities.2

I am far from saying that McLachlan is the best of the two—but he has undoubted claims, & comes forward under heavy disadvantages from no one on the council being able to speak for his works.

Swinhoe is safe—3 We meet on Tuesday to select, so please answer by return of Post.

I want very very much to go & see you all at Down—which I still look on as my particular haven of rest.— Shall you be at home tomorrow week?

Harriet4 returned yesterday from Torquay quite cured of both Dyspepsia and Cough— She has taken to riding (when she can get a mount) & enjoys it vastly. & it does her a world of good.

Ever aff yrs | JD Hooker.

The Soirée was a tremendous affair,—the largest ever held.5


CD had signed the form nominating Robert McLachlan as a fellow of the Royal Society of London; see letter to H. T. Stainton, 11 February [1876] and n. 1.
Alfred Henry Garrod was a zoologist educated at King’s College, London, and St John’s College, Cambridge; he was Fullerian Professor of physiology at the Royal Institution of Great Britain. McLachlan was an entomologist, traveller and collector with no paid position.
In 1874, Robert Swinhoe had asked CD to propose him for a fellowship of the Royal Society; see this volume, Supplement, letter from Robert Swinhoe, 14 January 1874. See also letter from T. H. Huxley, 3 April 1876 and n. 3.
Harriet Anne Hooker.
The Royal Society conversazione took place on 5 April 1876; it was reported in Nature, 13 April 1876, pp. 473–4.


Requests CD’s evaluation of the work of the entomologist Robert McLachlan, who is up for F.R.S. in competition with the physiologist A. H. Garrod.

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 104: 53–4
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10444,” accessed on 18 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 24