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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   [6 or 13 October 1847]1

Down Farnborough | Kent


My dear Hooker

I do admire your zeal in going all the way to the Isle of Man—that is the way to succeed.— I congratulate you heartily on your arrangements being completed, with some prospect for the future. It will be a noble voyage & journey but I wish it was over, I shall miss you selfishly & all ways to a dreadful extent. Well, there is a beautiful magnet2 to bring you back by.—

I am in great perplexity how we are to meet, for I shall not return from Shrewsbury (& I cannot put off that visit, as my Father wishes it) till the 4th, & I fear it is ludicrous to imagine that you could come here on Saturday 6th, though we would dine very late, so that you & Falconer might not lose but very little of the Saturday & you could be despatched hence at any hour on Monday Morning. If, as I fear, this is out of the question, I would return home through Kew & sleep with you on Thursday 4th night,—that is if you will be at home (& that you could tell me hereafter) & you could have me.— But we should very much prefer seeing you here once again. How I do wish Ld. Dalhousie3 would put off going; I daresay he will not start quite true to his time, but you must be very busy. Don’t waste any time in writing (when you can see your way) more than a line to me, to say whether you think there is a chance of your coming here on the 6th, & I would then ask Falconer

Your affectionate friend | C. Darwin


Dated on the basis that Hooker had gone to the Isle of Man at the beginning of October to see Lord Auckland, first lord of the Admiralty and a previous governor-general of India, who was visiting his brother Robert John Eden, Bishop of Sodor and Man, about his proposed Indian expedition. As a result of this interview, it was arranged that Hooker could go to India on half pay and later join the Borneo expedition on full pay with an allowance of £300 for botanical collections. Following this, Hooker received a Treasury grant of £400 a year to cover the costs of his botanical collections for Kew Gardens during the period he was in India. When the Borneo expedition was cancelled following the death of Lord Auckland in 1849, Hooker used the £300 to spend a third year in India (L. Huxley ed. 1918, 1: 218 and n. 1).
Frances Harriet Henslow, to whom Hooker was engaged.
Hooker was given free passage to accompany James Andrew Broun Ramsay, Earl of Dalhousie, who had just been appointed governor-general of India, to his post (L. Huxley ed. 1918, 1: 218).


Difficulty of scheduling visit before JDH departs on Himalayan expedition.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 114: 105
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1127,” accessed on 23 January 2022,

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