skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. D. Hooker   [7 April 1873]1

Royal Gardens Kew



Dear Darwin

I write by return of post. Come on Wednesday; I am so happy to think you can— I have never liked to worry you by asking— thank goodness you know that—2

Fanny called on you the other day with some such a proposal on the tip of her tongue.3 She had suggested to me the paying to Huxleys bankers the amount of his law expences (to be raised by you, I, & a couple or so more)—4 I asked Tyndall5 the night before F. called on you, & he thought the affair too small, & that H. would not like the “stealing a march upon him.” so we agreed that F. should say nothing to you about it. The matter has however never left our minds—

My impression is, that the thing (raising £3000 or so) should be done, if we can assure ourselves that H. will have it: but I feel sure that this will be a difficulty. He & I have been railing at the testimonial system within the last few weeks; & as a public testimonial I feel sure he would not accept.

I have beaten my brains to find out if we could practise a pious fraud, & hand it over to him as a legacy from a defunct friend— but he is a deal too sharp, & no one could be other than open with Huxley.— I can’t conceive deception, however innocent, in his presence.

I have no time to say more, but do, I pray, cudgel your brains.— I will come & lunch with you tomorrow Tuesday, lest weather or health should prevent you coming here on Wednesday6

Ever yours | J D Hooker


The date is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to J. D. Hooker, [6 April 1873]. The Monday following 6 April 1873 was 7 April.
According to Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242), Frances Harriet Hooker had been to lunch with the Darwins on 28 March 1873.
See letter to J. D. Hooker, [6 April 1873] and n. 1. The reference is to Thomas Henry Huxley.
John Tyndall.
According to Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242), the ‘meeting about Huxley’ took place on Tuesday 8 April 1873 and Hooker also came to lunch on Wednesday 9 April.


Thinks the Huxley fund should be done. Difficulty will be getting him to accept it.

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 103: 153–4
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8847,” accessed on 6 December 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 21