This week, while digitising the pressed herbarium collection of Robert Dick, baker and botanist of Thurso 1811-1866, I came across herbarium sheets with the name Hooker on them.
An exciting find indeed, as William J Hooker and his son Joseph D Hooker were both previous directors of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Both eminent botanists, Joseph was a close friend of Darwin. Joseph trained as a surgeon in Glasgow, so is it his name on our herbarium sheets?
While on the Beagle's voyage 1831 - 1863, Darwin sent his herbarium sheets and specimens to Professor Henslow in Cambridge. Joseph Hooker married Henslow's daughter.
If you have any info and can help discover which of the Hooker men's name appears on Robert Dicks herbarium collection in Caithness Horizons Museum, Thurso, we'd be delighted to hear from you!
UPDATE: It has been confirmed that DR Hooker is the son (Darwin's best friend). Click here to read a feature in the John O'Goat Journal about this exciting find.
Still a few thousand herbarium sheets to document.....what else will I find??
Here's a few links - click on their names to find out more:
Joseph D Hooker
William J Hooker
Darwin - correspondence with Joseph D Hooker.
John Steven Henslow
Caithness Horizons Museum
A few more of those herbarium sheets...........