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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. D. Hooker   [25 January 1868]1

Barton Hall


My dear Darwin

You have probably heard of poor Wollastons misfortune—2 lost his all in a mercantile association, in which he invested, & from which he has not had 1d.— he is off to Boulogne—

I am writing to Lubbock & Stainton3 to know if we could not organize a means of saving to the poor fellow, his books & collections at any rate—which should be sacred in ⁠⟨⁠any⁠⟩⁠ case. I need not ask whether you would join. poor Wollaston, he writes a little bitterly of his fellow creatures. I am glad he is with Stainton, than whom a more liberal & estimable man I believe never lived.—

But this is not what I resolved yesterday to write to you about, but your boys college success, which has delighted every body—4 I greatly wonder how you take it, do tell me— I do not think I should be [only] proud, but awfully pleased. They say that the Senior is simply a prodigy.5

This is an interesting House.6 The pictures most beautiful & attractive too.— “Frances, Lady Bunbury”7 is much subdued, & I am enjoying myself, which must be a great comfort to all my dear friends’— I leave on Monday for Kew

Ever yr affec | J D Hooker.


The date is established by the reference to George Howard Darwin’s examination success (see n. 4, below). The first Saturday after the results were announced on 24 January 1868 was 25 January.
Hooker refers to Thomas Vernon Wollaston.
Hooker refers to John Lubbock and Henry Tibbats Stainton.
George was second in the mathematical honours examination at Cambridge; the position was known as ‘second wrangler’ (Cambridge University calendar 1868).
The senior wrangler for 1868 was John Fletcher Moulton (Cambridge University calendar 1868).
Barton Hall in Suffolk was the seat of Charles James Fox Bunbury (Burke’s peerage).
Frances Joanna Bunbury.


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–.

Cambridge University calendar: The Cambridge University calendar. Cambridge: W. Page [and others]. 1796–1950.


T. V. Wollaston’s financial misfortunes.

CD’s son George’s success [at Cambridge].

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Barton Hall
Source of text
DAR 102: 187–8
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5798,” accessed on 6 December 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 16