Sir William Jackson Hooker letters, 1819-1863

Mss.B.H7652

Date: 1819-1863 | Size: 39 items

Abstract

These letters refer to the exchange of various plants, to botany in general, and to the operation of Kew. There is mention as well of the plants of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Background note

Sir William Jackson Hooker (1785-1865) was a botanist and director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew.

William Jackson Hooker was born at Norwich, July 6, 1785. His father, Joseph Hooker, cultivated rare plants in his leisure time.

Hooker dedicated himself from an early age to natural philosophy and travel, having inherited land from his Godfather William Jackson. An early discovery of a rare moss drew Sir James Edward Smith's attention to young Hooker. The former was able to persuade the later to take up botany.

Hooker traveled throughout Scotland, then to Iceland making advances to all branches of natural philosophy. These finding were lost, however, when the ship he was on caught fire. Hooker himself made a narrow escape. In 1814 he toured France, Switzerland and Italy, collected specimen and adding to a growing number of scientific correspondence.

In 1815 Hooker married Maria Turner and settled at Halesworth, Suffolk, where he started his extensive herbarium. In 1820, due to a growing family and shrinking funds, he accepted a professorship of botany at Glasgow. In 1836 he was knighted in recognition of his services to botany.

In 1841 he took charge of the Gardens at Kew, a position he would hold until his death. In 1847 he co-founded a museum of economic botany, the first and largest of its kind in the world.

Able to balance a busy professional life with multiple projects, Hooker, either as editor or author, contributed to more than 100 volumes on botany throughout his life. He was well liked and respected as a teacher, and often kept in touch with students as they dispersed around the globe. His ever-growing number of scientific contacts allowed him to persuade the cultivation of rare and important plants in their natural environments around the world. His contacts also helped him cultivate an impressive herbarium and library which he generously shared with students and fellow scientists.

Hooker was fellow of the Linnean Society (1806) and the Royal Society (1812) and co-founder of the Wernerian Society at Edinburgh.

Sir William Jackson Hooker died at Kew on 12 August, 1865 of a disease of the throat. He left a widow, two married daughters and a son, Josephs Dalton Hooker.

Collection Information

Physical description

39 items.

39 items.

Provenance

Purchased and accessioned, 1959 (1959 1029ms). See in-house shelf list for additional accession numbers and dates.

Early American History Note

This manuscript collection falls outside the geographic scope of the Early American guide (British North America and the United States before 1840). It may be of interest to scholars interested in global history, international relations, imperialism, or the U.S. in the world.

Indexing Terms


Corporate Name(s)

  • Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Personal Name(s)

  • Bowring, John, Sir, 1792-1872
  • Braun, Alexander
  • Eyton, Thomas Campbell, 1809-1880
  • Henslow, J. S. (John Stevens), 1796-1861
  • Hooker, William Jackson, Sir, 1785-1865
  • Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875
  • Royle, J. Forbes (John Forbes)
  • Washington, John, 1800-1863

Subject(s)

  • Beyond Early America
  • Botanical gardens -- England.
  • Botany -- England.
  • Botany -- Nova Scotia.
  • Plants -- Collection and preservation.


Detailed Inventory

Papers
  
Hooker, William Jackson, Sir, 1785-1865.
Letter to Messrs Hurst & Robinson, London;
Jan. 27, [1819]7x5

Glasgow, A.L.S. 1p.and add. Asks that his Flora Scotia be given to a man.

General physical description: 7x5

Hooker, William Jackson, Sir, 1785-1865.
Letter to Edward Rigby;
March 17, 18249½x7-3/4

Glasgow, A.L.S. 1p., add., enc. wanting. Returns the autographs left by Rigby. Mentions that "Greville & I have been working much at the Mosses lately...." Refers to Humboldt.

General physical description: 9½x7-3/4

Other Descriptive Information: See: (W. J. Hooker papers.)

Hooker, William Jackson, Sir, 1785-1865.
Letter to "My Lord"
Sept. 30, 1829 

A.L.S. 4p.

Hooker, William Jackson, Sir, 1785-1865.
Letter to R. B. Bowman, Newcastle on Tyne;
Oct. 23, 183710x8

Glascow, A.L.S. 3p. and add. Has prepared some new sets of botanical illustrations. Requests several drawings by Richardson.

General physical description: 10x8

Hooker, William Jackson, Sir, 1785-1865.
Letter to Mrs. Cross;
Dec. 9, 18387¼x4½

A.L.S. 3p. Remarks that he "Could not, with safety & convenience, have sent your plants sooner". Complains of an awful draught. Mentions ferns.

General physical description: 7¼x4½

Hooker, William Jackson, Sir, 1785-1865.
Letter to "Sir";
Sept. 9, 18417x4½

Kew, A.L.S. 2p. Expresses thanks to his correspondent "for so kindly taking charge of the little package of the Medicinal Syrup for Lady Hooker at the request of our friend Mr. R[ober]t Brown".

General physical description: 7x4½

Other Descriptive Information: See: (W. J. Hooker papers.)

Hooker, William Jackson, Sir, 1785-1865.
Letter to "Dear Sir";
Dec. 1, 18417x4½

Kew, A.L.S. 3p. Informs his correspondent that Roupell is "quite ready to enter into an engagement with you for the possible publication..." of a book on plants.

General physical description: 7x4½

Hooker, William Jackson, Sir, 1785-1865.
Letter to "My dear Sir";
January 21, 18427¼x4½

Kew, A.L.S. 4p. Explains why he cannot accept an appointment as chairman of the botanical committee of the Royal Society. Mentions Griffith, Watson and the Linnean Society, also the gardens at Kew.

General physical description: 7¼x4½

Other Descriptive Information: See: (W. J. Hooker papers.)

Hooker, William Jackson, Sir, 1785-1865.
Letter to [John Forbes] Royle;
June 2, 18428x5

Kew, A.L.S. 3p., add. Explains why he desires Royle to assume the duty of "Convener of the Botanical Committee of the Royal Soc[iet]y" rather than himself. Refers to Lefroy who brought seeds back from the Antarctic expedition. Mentions the gardens at Kew.

General physical description: 8x5

Other Descriptive Information: See: (W. J. Hooker papers.)

Hooker, William Jackson, Sir, 1785-1865.
Letter to "My dear Sir";
October 21, 18428¼x5

Kew, A.L.S. 3p. Explains why he hopes that his correspondent will undertake "to call the Meeting of the Committee of Bot[an]y & Vegetable Physiology at the Royal Soc[iet]y". Mentions Griffith and Wallich.

General physical description: 8¼x5

Other Descriptive Information: See: (W. J. Hooker papers.)

Hooker, William Jackson, Sir, 1785-1865.
Letter to Simon Williams, Hampstead;
May 11, 18437-1/4x4-1/2

Kew, A.L.S. 3p.and add. Will name Denny for membership in the Linnean Society. His health.

General physical description: 7-1/4x4-1/2

Other Descriptive Information: See: (W.J.Hooker papers.)

Hooker, William Jackson, Sir, 1785-1865.
Letter to T[homas] Crofton Croker;
Jan. 31, 18467-1/4x4-1/2

Kew, A.L. in 3rd P. 1p., end., env. Requests that "a little packet of living plants in a small tin case" be sent to the Botanic Garden of Ceylon

General physical description: 7-1/4x4-1/2

Hooker, William Jackson, Sir, 1785-1865.
Letter to ----;
Sept. 23, 1848 

Kew, A.L.S. 3p.and add. Asks about effects of glass on plants. Concerning pitch from the lake in Trinidad.

Hooker, William Jackson, Sir, 1785-1865.
Letter to "My dear Sir";
January 25, 18507x4¼

Kew, A.L.S. 4p. Expresses thanks for a favor done by his correspondent. Discusses the incident of "my Son having been put under restraint by the Rajah of Sikkim". Mentions Thomson and Campbell.

General physical description: 7x4¼

Other Descriptive Information: See: (W. J. Hooker papers.)

Hooker, William Jackson, Sir, 1785-1865.
Letter to "My dear Sir";
December 13, 18504½x7

Kew, A.L.S. 2p. Concerns financial matters. Refers to his son and the gardens at Kew.

General physical description: 4½x7

Other Descriptive Information: See: (W. J. Hooker papers.)

Hooker, William Jackson, Sir, 1785-1865.
Letter to Asa Gray;
May 20, 18517x4-1/2

Kew, A.L.S. 4p. Explains why he delayed in writing to Gray. Mentions Joseph Dalton Hooker, Webb, De Vriese, Gardner, Stevens and Gay. Concludes with list of needs for his library. Botany.

General physical description: 7x4-1/2

Hooker, William Jackson, Sir, 1785-1865.
Letter to ----;
Dec. 15, 1852 

Kew, A.L.S. 4p. Is moving and is trying to arrange 100 volumes for binding. Concerning his publications on mosses.

Hooker, William Jackson, Sir, 1785-1865.
Letter to [Sir John] Bowring;
February 19, 18537-3/4x5

Kew, A.L.S. 4p. Acknowledges receipt at Kew rice paper plants sent by Bowring's son. Praises Bowring's son's. botanical and entomological work. Mentions Paxton and Henslow. Refers to his son's Antarctic voyage with Ross.

General physical description: 7-3/4x5

Other Descriptive Information: See: (W. J. Hooker papers.)

Hooker, William Jackson, Sir, 1785-1865.
Letter to "Madam;"
April 25, 18537x4-1/2

Kew, A.L.S. 2p. Seeds from Mrs. James Cowell. "Deodar" seeds also being sent by India Company.

General physical description: 7x4-1/2

Hooker, William Jackson, Sir, 1785-1865.
Letter to Mrs. Westwood;
October 22, 18557x4½

Kew, A.L.S. 2p. Concerning a gourd "commonly called the Towel-gourd".

General physical description: 7x4½

Other Descriptive Information: See: (W. J. Hooker papers.)

Hooker, William Jackson, Sir, 1785-1865.
Letter to Dr. [Alexander] Braun;
October 10, 18565-7-1/2

Royal Gardens, Kew, A.L.S. 2p. and end. by Braun. Is forwarding plants to Braun & Berlin Botanical Garden to avoid cold; awaiting Caspary [Braun's son-in-law]. [J.D.] Hooker returned from Europe and meeting Braun. Braun's note dated 26 October 1856.

General physical description: 5-7-1/2

Hooker, William Jackson, Sir, 1785-1865.
Letter to Captain [John] Washington;
18 Feb., 18577 1/8 x 4 3/8

ALS 4p. Thanks Washington for interest in Vancouver Island Survey. Discusses grasses and gooseberries in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Mentions Beaufort, Beardsley, Duke of devonshire.

General physical description: 7 1/8 x 4 3/8

Hooker, William Jackson, Sir, 1785-1865.
Letter to ----;
Dec. 5, 1857 

Kew, A.L.S. 4p. Describes how a botanical guide for a museum should be made up. Concerning Alexander Smith's health.

Hooker, William Jackson, Sir, 1785-1865.
Letter to Miss Maurice;
April 5, 18587-1/4x4-1/2

A.L.S. 3p. Arrival of box of bulbs in excellent condition.

General physical description: 7-1/4x4-1/2

Other Descriptive Information: See: (Sir William Jackson Hooker papers.)

Hooker, William Jackson, Sir, 1785-1865.
Letter to "Sir";
February 15, 18606½x4½

A.L.S. 1p., end. Expresses thanks to his correspondent for the plants that were sent.

General physical description: 6½x4½

Other Descriptive Information: See: (W. J. Hooker papers.)

Hooker, William Jackson, Sir, 1785-1865.
Letter to Seth Levinson;
May 15, 18607-1/4x4-1/2

Kew, A.L.S. 2p. Thanks for Coots Eggs. Will accept more specimens when better habitats can be created.

General physical description: 7-1/4x4-1/2

Hooker, William Jackson, Sir, 1785-1865.
Letter to "Sir";
August 19, 18607¼x4½

A.L.S. 3p. Explains what he believes to be the origin of communications sent to his correspondent's office for publication.

General physical description: 7¼x4½

Other Descriptive Information: See: (W. J. Hooker papers.)

Hooker, William Jackson, Sir, 1785-1865.
Letter to [John] Kirk;
Aug. 25, 18607 1/4 x 4 1/2

Royal Gardens, Kew, ALS 3p. has seen Dr. Meller, who will be surgeon on steamer for Livingstone. Awaits box of plants. Dr. Hooker on coast. Praise for Capt. Washington. Mentions Archdeacon Mackenzie.

General physical description: 7 1/4 x 4 1/2

Hooker, William Jackson, Sir, 1785-1865.
Letter to ----;
July 4, 18617-1/4x4-3/4

A.L.S. 4p. Comments on Mr. Birt, who knows nothing of Kew Gardens except what he picks up as a general visitor. Does not believe Edward Jesse is looking for a position.

General physical description: 7-1/4x4-3/4

Hooker, William Jackson, Sir, 1785-1865.
Letter to Miss Edmonstone;
July 5, 18617x4-1/2

Kew, A.L.S. 3p. Regrets that he cannot show her around the Kew royal gardens on Saturday.

General physical description: 7x4-1/2

Hooker, William Jackson, Sir, 1785-1865.
Letter to "Dear Sir";
Jan. 6, 18627-1/4x4-1/2

Kew, A.L.S. 3p. Seeds from Ethiopia. Persons with whom Hooker can correspond in Ethopia? plants from Schimper in Ethiopia.

General physical description: 7-1/4x4-1/2

Schwarz, Hooker, [Sir] W[illiam] J[ackson], 1785-1865..
Letter to Monsieur Le Chevalier de Schwarz;
October 21, 18627-1/4x4-1/2

A.L.S. 3p. Informs Schwarz when he will be at home in order for Schwarz to bring a friend to meet him. Mentions the Gardens.

General physical description: 7-1/4x4-1/2

Hooker, William Jackson, Sir, 1785-1865.
Letter to Hermann Kundt;
Oct. 17, 18637-1/4x4-1/2

A.L.S. 2p. Does not have any letters written by Vogel.

General physical description: 7-1/4x4-1/2

Hooker, William Jackson, Sir, 1785-1865.
Concerning Mr. Ward's fungi sketches.
Undated7-1/4x4-1/2

A.D.S. 1p. Botanical notes on reverse.

General physical description: 7-1/4x4-1/2

Hooker, William Jackson, Sir, 1785-1865.
Letter to ----;
Undated8x4-3/4

A.L.S. 3p. Appreciates the invitation, but goes to Argyleshire and cannot accept. March 28

General physical description: 8x4-3/4

Other Descriptive Information: See: (Sir William J. Hooker papers.)

Hooker, William Jackson, Sir, 1785-1865.
Letter to "My Dear Sir"
Undated5x8

Nov. 2nd. A.L.S. 1p. Regrets that engagements prevent him from being present at the meeting of the Medical Professors. Comments about gardens.

Hooker, William Jackson, Sir, 1785-1865.
Letter to "Dear Sir";
Undated7½x4½

Kew, Tuesday. A.L.S. 2p., enc. wanting. Sends his account of the cedar tree. Refers to Dr. Malet.

General physical description: 7½x4½

Hooker, William Jackson, Sir, 1785-1865.
Letter to "Dear Sir;"
Undated9x7-1/4

n.d. L. 1p. copy Refers to Dillwyn and Richard Walker. Discusses C. sentaces plant. Searches for Lichens.

General physical description: 9x7-1/4

Hooker, William Jackson, Sir, 1785-1865.
Letter to "Dear Sir";
Undated7 1/16x8 3/4

n.d. 3p. A.L.S. Refers to coming meeting with Captain Kellet, Sir John Richardson and Mr. Bentham, suggests joining them. Has asked Captain Kellet to see Lovell Reeve for a written statement about a publication.