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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   9 April [1876]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. | Railway Station | Orpington. S.E.R.

Ap. 9th

My dear Hooker.

I cd. not answer your note by return of Post, as on Sunday our Post-man leaves directly.—2

As far as I can judge Mr Mc.Lachlan has a stronger claim than any other entomologist in England to be elected a fellow of R. Socy., on the grounds that he has undertaken the study, which he has carried out thoroughily well, of certain large groups of insects, which from their difficulty & other causes have been generally neglected.3

I do not know how long Mr Garrod & McLachlan have been trying to be elected, but I must say that the work of the former seems to me of much higher quality.4

You are the very best of men to propose coming here this day week or rather next Saturday the 15th. & we shall be heartily glad to see you. If Harriet can come with you, my wife desires me to say that we shall be very glad to see her. It is a real good job that she has come back so much better.5

Farewell till we meet | Ever yours | Ch. Darwin

I am so glad about Swinhoe:6 I think if rejected he wd. have gone half mad.—


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from J. D. Hooker, 8 April 1876.
In his letter of 8 April 1876, Hooker had asked CD for a few lines in support of Robert McLachlan’s nomination as a fellow of the Royal Society of London. McLachlan worked on the insect orders Neuroptera (lacewings) and Trichoptera (caddisflies) (ODNB).
McLachlan had previously been nominated in 1874 by Henry Tibbats Stainton and supported by CD and others; see letter to H. T. Stainton, 11 February [1876] and n. 1 . This was Alfred Henry Garrod’s first nomination; see letter from J. D. Hooker, 8 April 1876 and n. 2.
See letter from J. D. Hooker, 8 April 1876. Harriet Anne Hooker was Hooker’s daughter.
Robert Swinhoe was a candidate for fellowship of the Royal Society; see letter from J. D. Hooker, 8 April 1876 and n. 3. He had failed to be elected in 1874, when CD first proposed him; see this volume, Supplement, letter from Robert Swinhoe, 14 January 1874.


ODNB: Oxford dictionary of national biography: from the earliest times to the year 2000. (Revised edition.) Edited by H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. 60 vols. and index. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2004.


McLachlan has as strong a claim to be F.R.S. as any entomologist, but Garrod’s work is of higher quality.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 95: 404–5
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10445,” accessed on 19 September 2021,

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