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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. D. Hooker   4 July 1867


July 4th/67.

Dr Darwin

I thought I never was to get time to write to you again, day after day I have been at my wits ends with things to do, & was greatly disappointed at not seeing you in London—1 The fact is that Smith has been away in Paris, & one of my best men at the Herbarium is very ill—2

Mrs Hooker has worried me into taking her to Switzerland for a fortnight & we are off tonight to return on 23d— we shall stop in the Enghedien.3

A friend of mine was a run-away-boy in his youth, & if I am rightly informed 2 of his boys have run away from home. several times—for no other motive but love of roaming— is the case worth my verifying for you?4

I will take the first Sunday for Down that I can get free after my return— Aug. 4, I hope.5

Ever yrs aff | J D Hooker

I thought Lyell looking well the other day— he seems to be looking into insular floras & faunas well.6

The Earl of Arran (father of my next door neighbour) has twice asked to be most specially remembered to you—as Philip Gore who knew you at Monte Video & arranged for your trip in the interior (he seems a great ass, but goodnatured one)7


The Darwins had visited London from 17 to 24 June (CD’s ‘Journal’ (Correspondence vol. 15, Appendix II)). See also letter from J. D. Hooker, 18 June 1867, and letter to J. D. Hooker, [23 June 1867].
The reference is to John Smith, curator at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. The other man has not been identified. Smith may have been attending the horticultural exhibition at Paris.
Hooker’s wife was Frances Harriet Hooker. The Engadine is a valley of the upper Inn River in east Switzerland, renowned for its magnificent scenery and bracing climate (Columbia gazetteer of the world).
Hooker’s friend has not been identified.
There is no record in Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242) of a visit from Hooker until December 1867. However, see the letter from J. D. Hooker, [27 July 1867], and the letter to J. D. Hooker, 29 July [1867].
Charles Lyell was working on the second volume of the tenth edition of Principles of geology; it included a new chapter, chapter 41, ‘Insular floras and faunas considered with reference to the origin of species’ (C. Lyell 1867–8, 2: 402–32). Hooker had read a paper on the subject of insular floras at the meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in August 1866 (see J. D. Hooker 1866a).
Hooker refers to Philip Yorke Gore. Gore had one surviving son and three daughters, all unmarried in 1867 (Burke’s peerage), but no persons of the name of Gore are listed at Kew in the Post Office London suburban directory for 1865 or 1868. As director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Hooker’s residence was 49 The Green, Kew (R. Desmond 1995, p. 416). The neighbour probably lived at 51 The Green, a grace-and-favour residence. CD mentioned Gore in his Beagle diary (R. D. Keynes ed. 1988, pp. 115–16).


Burke’s peerage: A genealogical and heraldic dictionary of the peerage and baronetage of the United Kingdom. Burke’s peerage and baronetage. 1st– edition. London: Henry Colburn [and others]. 1826–.

Columbia gazetteer of the world: The Columbia gazetteer of the world. Edited by Saul B. Cohen. 3 vols. New York: Columbia University Press. 1998.

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Desmond, Ray. 1995. Kew: the history of the Royal Botanic Gardens. London: Harvill Press with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Lyell, Charles. 1867–8. Principles of geology or the modern changes of the earth and its inhabitants considered as illustrative of geology. 10th edition. 2 vols. London: John Murray.

Post Office London suburban directory: The Post Office London suburban directory. Kelly’s London suburban directory. London: Kelly & Co. 1860–1903.


Has been too busy to write. Is leaving for Switzerland that evening.

A friend, who ran away from home as a boy, has two sons who have done the same several times. Is the case worth investigating for CD?

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 102: 169–70
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5577,” accessed on 27 October 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 15