49, Kew Green (west side)

From Historic England entry:

Heritage Category: Listed Building, Grade: II

“Main part early C18. Very irregular brown brick block of 2 and 3 storeys. Three storeys with later additions to north and west. Long, wooden covered way from street to front door. Front boundary wall with iron railings.”

From Notable Abodes website:

Sir William Jackson Hooker (1785-1865) was an eminent English Botanist and was the first Director of Kew Botanical Gardens,London.

Years of Residence: 1851 – 1865

Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker (1817-1911) was a hugely eminent English Botanist and Explorer,collecting botanical specimens on his many voyages,introducing foreign flora to British and western gardens.A close friend of Charles Darwin, he was also a Director of Kew Botanical Gardens in London, like his father Sir William Jackson Hooker.

Years of Residence: 1865 – 1911

From the website of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew:

“The name William Hooker (1785-1865) is synonymous with Kew, being the name of Kew’s first official Director. Hooker took directorship in 1841 and was instrumental in steering the Gardens towards the research and visitor role that we recognise today. He was an accomplished draughtsman, as was customary of the time, and the Illustrations Collection at Kew holds a large number of his works.

However, Kew’s Director was not the only William Hooker to be skilled in the drawing of plants. William Hooker (1779-1832) the illustrator of flowers and fruits was a contemporary and, understandably, there has been much confusion between the pair over time.

Both William Hooker’s lived and worked in London and mixed with the botanists and horticulturalists of the day. Hooker the illustrator, studied under Franz Bauer (1758-1840) one of the most eminent illustrators of the time and it is clear that the influence of Bauer shaped his own skill. Bauer was employed at Kew Gardens under the patronage of Sir Joseph Banks and, in addition to his own work, he spent some time teaching flower painting to the royals. Bauer was not accustomed to taking students and Hooker was his only other pupil. Hooker was so skilled at portraying his subject that a paint colour even bears his name; that of Hooker’s Green.”

Text by Julia Buckley, Information Assistant – Art and Illustrations

“Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker (1817-1911)

The second son of William Jackson Hooker and Maria Hooker, nèe Turner, Joseph Dalton Hooker was born on the 30th June 1817 in Halesworth, Suffolk.  Hooker’s passion for plants was ignited early – his father William was appointed Regius Professor of Botany at Glasgow University in 1820 and later became the first official director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in 1865. Hooker started attending his father’s lectures when he was as young as seven . But there is no doubt that it was through a lifetime of dedicated study, pioneering travel, scientific investigation, botanical discovery and taxonomic innovation that he built his own towering reputation as a man of science, and as the leading botanist of his age…

Hooker was more than just a plant collector, he was an interrogator of the natural world, keenly observing the lands in which he travelled so that he could describe, classify and understand what was all around him. This combination, of plant collecting and interpreting the data he collected, earned Hooker a global reputation as an expert in plant distribution. For example, in India he sought evidence in the botany and geology of the highest mountains in the world that would support Darwin’s theory On the Origin of Species, to be published famously in 1859…

In 1855, Hooker was appointed Assistant Director of The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, later following in his father’s footsteps as Director (1865-1885). Under Hooker, Kew’s imperial role continued to expand and he furthered the Gardens’ function as a scientific institution, expanding the herbarium collections and overseeing the construction of the first Jodrell Laboratory. Hooker himself continued to travel taking botanical trips to Morocco and the United States of America. On the latter expedition in 1877 he covered 8,000 miles, proving that, although aged 60, he still had the passion for plants born at his father’s knee age seven.

Hooker retired from his post at Kew in 1885 but continued to work on botany until his death in 1911, aged 94. He is buried alongside his father in St Anne’s churchyard on Kew Green. It was proposed that he be laid to rest at Westminster Abbey alongside his life-long friend Charles Darwin. In life Hooker was a defender of Darwin, having in fact been Darwin’s first confidant for his controversial theory in a letter dated 1844. But, in death, it was felt he would prefer to be interred close to the gardens of Kew, which are his great legacy.

Text by Dr Jim Endersby. Reproduced with the permission of the author and Oxford University Press.”

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