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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   [14 March 1847]

Down Farnborough | Kent


My dear Hooker

I trust you got the C. Verd pamphlet:1 it is a fine chance your getting anyone to collect there.2 I did not write at the time as I was unwell: I lost all last week by unwellness & the fortnight before at Shrewsbury & here is more than three weeks gone & nothing to show for it.— I have studied your sheet of notes on my species-sketch3 with uncommon interest; they are highly suggestive; I shall bring them with me, when I come to Kew, as I want to talk over some points & ask a question or two. You have in truth done me a great service & kindness.— My object in writing now is to ask you to send me a line by return of Post, to tell me, whether you are likely to be at Kew on the 25th or 26th instant, for in that case I would come down for a couple of hours talk. I want to settle my own plans, & this point wd. settle them; I have thoughts of going to Ld Northamptons soiree4 on the 27th, as I have never been at one.

Ever Yours | C. Darwin


Hooker was at this time compiling descriptions of the flora of the Cape Verde Islands for inclusion in W. J. Hooker ed. 1849, pp. 86–197. The islands may well have been discussed during Hooker’s recent visit to Down, since CD had collected extensively there during the Beagle voyage. Some of his Cape Verde plants are described in Hooker’s list (p. 92). The pamphlet mentioned in the letter is probably one of the catalogues of plants used by Hooker for his own descriptions, and lent to CD during Hooker’s visit.
Possibly a reference to William Freeman Daniell, an army surgeon stationed on the coast of West Africa, who sent observations and specimens to Kew from 1841 to 1853 (DNB).
Probably the memorandum from J. D. Hooker, [c. 4 March 1847].
Spencer Joshua Alwyne Compton, Marquis of Northampton, a former president of the Geological Society and president of the Royal Society, 1838–49, who ‘gave receptions at his London house, where his Marchioness was famed as an accomplished and gracious hostess.’ (Geikie 1917, p. 325).


DNB: Dictionary of national biography. Edited by Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee. 63 vols. and 2 supplements (6 vols.). London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1912. Dictionary of national biography 1912–90. Edited by H. W. C. Davis et al. 9 vols. London: Oxford University Press. 1927–96.

Geikie, Archibald. 1917. Annals of the Royal Society Club: the record of a London dining-club in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. London: Macmillan.


Thanks for JDH’s notes on species sketch. Proposes to drive to Kew to discuss them with him.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 114: 82
Physical description
4pp & C

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1071,” accessed on 2 December 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 4