Collection HJD - Hooker, Joseph Dalton

Identity area

Reference code

GB235 HJD

Title

Hooker, Joseph Dalton

Date(s)

  • 1817 - 1911 (Creation)

Level of description

Collection

Extent and medium

Small collection: folder of misc. references & assort. correspondence

Context area

Name of creator

(1817-1911)

Biographical history

Born Suffolk 1817, died Berkshire 1911
Joseph Hooker graduated MD from Glasgow University though a passion for botany had developed through attending his father’s (William Jackson Hooker) lectures from the age of 7. Inspired by Darwin’s voyage of the Beagle, he was appointed assistant surgeon and then expedition’s botanist aboard the HMS Erebus in 1839 which spent 4 years exploring the southern oceans. Returning to England he worked on ‘The Botany of the Antarctic Voyages ‘plates, the book eventually being published in 6 volumes in the 1840s and 1850s. He was asked by Darwin to assist in classifying plants Darwin had gathered in the Galapagos; this was the start of a lifelong correspondence and friendship. Hooker acted as a sounding board and later research collaborator for Darwin’s emerging thinking on natural selection. Hooker’s central interest was in the geographical distribution of plants and how species migrated. This had practical applications in the search for new plants and transplanting crops between British colonies for economic exploitation. In 1845 he failed to be appointed professor of botany at Edinburgh University but the following year was appointed botanist to the Geological Survey which led to valuable series of papers. Between 1847 and 1851 Hooker travelled to Sikkim, India and Nepal, collecting 7,000 species including 25 new rhododendrons. In 1855 was appointed assistant director at Kew, under his father William Hooker. He succeeded his father as Director in 1865, by which time he was a highly regarded botanist with an international reputation. He remained Director at Kew until his retirement in 1885. These 20 years saw the expansion of Kew’s imperial role e.g. in facilitating the transfer of cinchona from South America to India and rubber from Brazil to several British colonies. Hooker strove to maintain Kew’s scientific reputation by limiting public access and resisting proposals to transfer Kew’s herbaria to the Natural History Museum. A prolific author, he was elected president of the Royal Society in 1873 and was highly regarded in his lifetime, receiving numerous honours, honorary degrees and prizes.
Sources: Dictionary of National Biography; R. Desmond ‘Dictionary of British and Irish Botanists and Horticulturalists; Journal of Botany 1912
D.W.

Archival history

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Scope and content

•Printed Memoir of Dr. Thomas Charles Hope
•Extract from the Caledonian Mercury of 27th October 1845 article by J.D. Hooker (+ photocopy)
•Copy of extract from Linnaean Society of London, General Meeting, dated 21st December 1911
Hooker, Jos. D / J. Hutton Balfour
•Letters, dated 1842, 1876 & 1880 and copy letters dated 1855 -1880 from Jos. D Hooker, to J. Hutton Balfour, are filed with “J. Hutton Balfour” papers under “Hooker, Jos. D”.
Hooker, Jos. D / I. Bayley Balfour
•Copy letters between 31 July 1901 and 23 April 1902 from I.B.B. to J.D.H. , are filed with “I. Bayley Balfour” corres. under “Hooker, Jos. D”.
Hooker, Jos. D:
i. Letters to to Dr. Thos. Anderson 1860 – 1868 in 2 vols. filed under “Anderson, Dr. Thos” (110 letters) – Box 1
ii. Letters from W.J. Harvey (Dublin), dated 2 June 1860, to Hooker (? Jos. D. or ? W.J.), re;Nuttall’s Herbarium – item 182 in Box 2 of “Anderson, Dr. Thos” corres.
iii. Letter from A. Henry, dated 22 Oct 1861, to Hooker (? Jos. D. or ? W.J.), - item 115 in Box 2 of “Anderson, Dr. Thos” corres.
iv. Corres. With Sir Geo Watt filed with “Watt, Sir Geo” papers - Box.
v. 4 letters, dated 1871 – 1875 filed with “Henderson, Col. Frederick” papers –Box
vi. Letters between 1871 & 1880 to J.H. Balfour filed with “Balfour, J.H”, Supp. corres. “H”
vii. Letters, 1901 – 1903 from I. Bayley Balfour filed with “Balfour, I. Bayley” under “Hooker, Jos. D.”- separate folder.
viii. Letters, dated 1886 & 1904 – 1909 to I. Bayley Balfour filed with “Balfour, I. Bayley” under “Hooker, Jos. D.”- separate folder.
ix. Letter to Hooker, dated 1st of September 1902 from Richard T. Baker, (The Technological Museum, Sydney), re; copy of a work on Eucalypts presented to Director Kew, filed alphabetically in main index under “Baker, Richard T.”
x. Printed Botany Examination Papers (2), dated 9th August 1854 & 1858, set by J.D. Hooker, filed under “Hooker, Jos. D” in general index.
xi. Letters, dated 1880 – 1902 to I. Bayley Balfour filed with “Balfour, I. Bayley” under “Hooker, Jos. D.”- Separate folder.
xii. Letter to Dr. Jos. D. Hooker, dated 1st May 1862, “On the Fossil Plants Discovered by Dr. Lyall in Greenland” from by Oswald Heer (Zurich).- in Hooker, J.D. folder
• letter from Joseph D Hooker to Charles Ransford, May 29th 1846, found in cuttings collection, now in Hooker, J.D. folder (15/03/2016)

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  • Shelf: E:3:2