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NZSL/HOD/5/2/12 · Item · 25 Dec 1844
Part of Non-ZSL Collections

To B.H. Hodgson
From J.E. Gray

25th Dec 1844
British Museum

My Dear Sir

This will be delivered to your by Mr. Gerard who will pack the specimens and give you an account of them. I have [desired?] him to bring the Thibet items with him by rail and to learn from Mr Masters the best ways of sending of the others.
As soon as I have received the specimens and been able to sort them into kinds I will as once proceed to make the short descriptions you desire of the hitherto undescribed specimens which are marked as not having yet been characterized in the list of your birds which you have promised to send to me and send their descriptions for mention in Taylors Annals of Natural History. It would be more satisfactory if you transmitted with the list the descriptions you have already made on these species that my additions may only be the filling up of any [?] that may be necessary as I consider everything that van be [?] from your own hands so very much more valuable thats what is to be desired from the study of the dry skins and bones and at the same time more satisfactory. As soon as the collection is sorted out and the duplicates distributed into sets for the different Museums according to your letters we will set to work to form the catalogue of them and of the drawings but it would greatly facilitate this affair if you will give me a complete list of your various Papers and the Books in which they have appeared that I may search for them in the India House and other libraries for the local magazines of India very rarely find their way to this country and are even more rare in perfect sets. Hence the great difficulty we experience in knowing when the Indian species are described. This catalogue may be made in 3 or 4 months so as to appear in the Spring. I consider this catalogue of the greatest use as making known where your numerous and very interesting descriptions are to be found for if the works which contains them are rare in London their existence are quite unknown on the Continent and if the Specimens were sent without being accompanied by such work the names would almost all be considered as mere {Mss.?] one and therefore little or not at all recorded. You have more than once accused me of being anxious to grasp at your Collections, in this you quite misunderstand me, my anxiety to have the specimens is more on your own account than any mere wish to increase the Museum Collection which has been increasing at the rate of 20,000 specimens a year for the last 2 or 3 years and will have added more than 27,000 specimens this year. But by your sending a series of specimens to the British Museum there can be no [cavilling?] in time to come your discoveries and the type of your species and you will have them to refer to any time that your Nepal fauna may appear, at the same time it must be owned and nobody can be more willing to allow it than I am that your collection is a most magnificent contribution to the National collections and Science in general. I will use my utmost endeavour to induce some artist to undertake the publication of a selection of your drawings [figuring?] especially the more interesting of the numerous new species which you have discovered for I don't think that it is possible that I could ever find any one to Engrave or purchasers to support the entire series. I say artist for large publishers will never undertake such publications and I believe it is only a person who will devote himself to the work and to getting it into circulation as Mr. Gould does that could make a work of the hands pay its expenses. Should such an artist be found I will give him any assistance in my [?] power as I did to Mr. Howard when he was engaged upon it. If you were going to remain here I should have recommended you to have at once set to work to collect together [reports?] in a systematic form all the very interesting and strikingly novel [research?] and observations with which the backs of your Drawings and Notes Books are filled and to proceed to print them for I believe they would form a work which many publishers would be glad to undertake and which would be a most valuable contribution to [natural?] knowledge, but as your are going back to nearly the same neighbourhood I think it better the work should be delayed for a few years that you may add to it any fresh observations which you may be enabled to make and read it over when it is collected together into an acceptable form to take from it any [repetitions] and add to it the facts that must recur to your memory on such a perusal. When you have your materials together I will peruse and give you any friendly assistance that may occur to a [closet?] and systematic naturalise like myself but I am convinced/concerned from what I have seen of the notes that very little assistance will be wanted from me as I should not recommend you to over[burden?[ the work with dry systematic descriptions taken from the dry skins or measurements which are comparatively of so much less importance than the notes on the structure and habits of an animal or Birds made on the spot by an enlightened and accurate observer like yourself but what ever friendly assistance my numerous and laborious occupations here will allow me to give to the work I shall be most happy to afford though at the same I must decline to take on myself any responsible part in either the publication of the plates of letter press descriptions
Believe me my Dear Sir
Yours Truly
J. E. Gray

To B.H, Hodgson Esq.

NZSL/HOD/5/5/12 · Item · 10 Feb 1849
Part of Non-ZSL Collections

Darjeeling Feby 10 1849

My dear H
I am still toiling away at these plans and getting every day more and more dreadfully tired of the standing on my legs from morning to night. Writing to you is a good excuse for leaving off a little and with that mention of the [?] I go so far as to address you when I have nothing worth your reading to communicate. 5 great Banghy boxes of seed are just sent away and I shall have I suppose 20 coolie loads of plants to go by boat to Calcutta with my serot Yangma village is 13,700ft - permanently inhabited growing wheats and radishes in Summer. Do you know of any [?] Himalayan villages higher, or any Thibetan ones carefully measured. What an expose is poor Strachey's boiling point altitudes I have no wish to drive height measuring further than to within the nearest hundred feet, that I think is necessary and enough but Strachey may be out 1000 or even more thus 1o of boiling temp is equal to 500ft at his elevations - his instrument had the scale very small only reading to 2o further it was a common therm and not intended for boiling temps at all. Such instruments are often 3o or even 4o out. Again I find that any [?] will not do for this method. Nor any thermometer and with every advantage I cannot get the boiling point to within 1/2 a degree. Again the water used will affect the result to as much as 500ft, the best Darjeeling water making the height of this [?] more than that lower than it should be by more than 600ft. Lastly I find the connection for Sp, grav, if air makes a diff. of 700 feet om the Wallanchoon Pass and of this element he takes I think no account at all. How far these may connect one another it is impossible to say. Muller says he can't trust Strachey to 2000ft. I say 1 or 1500 I am extremely sorry for it for I had expected to look on [?] as a fixed point and to know the [?] of the Thibet Highland from that I suppose the [culminant?] point W. to where Thomas has been. I am all in confusion about the Stracheys - another brother seems to have been to the Lakes since the long [?] [?] and writes a most confused letter to Thomson which you have no doubt seen. As from N.23 to 578 and which is printed without date and without locality. There is a great deal of mystery about the gentleman or I am very stupid (or both). What on earth the latter letter writer means I can't divine. A volcanic eruption raining a bed of gravel [6-800ft?] between two lakes! The depth of ground on the plains (800-1000ft) is a grand fact and I hope good [Muller] has just been over to [Mrs O's] and returns with the bad news that he will be recalled to Calcutta ere long as since Mr [McDonald?] is going home on leave. The mail is in with letter from home for me. My sister very considerably better. You kindly asked about her in your last; she is my unmarried sister, younger a good deal than myself and has long been subject to chest or throat attacks which alarm us all exceedingly and are most tedious. My only other sister (who married the Scottish Parson) is also my junior and the same mail brings me an account of my being doubly an Uncle through her. Her husband who rejoices in the name McGilvray is a genuine Celt and not a favourite of mine - said to be a monstrous clever fellow and "powerful preacher". How he managed to captivate my sister, a most charming girl I can't conceive. I was abroad at the time. I believe the free kirk persecution had a good deal to do with it. I occurred in Glasgow when my F and M were nursing a 3rd sister in Jersey where the latter died of consumption and where also was my now ailing sister. I was at sea and Maria left to keep house in Glasgow where she fell in the with Revd McH. The match was opposed for 5 years but as in all like cases, opposition was only temporary - they are very happy together and that is the great decider in most unequal [?] (However I weary you with family details). They were no sooner spliced that the Revd. Dr MacG received a pressing call from the [Braitheren?] in both Americas to unite the bond of the Free Kirk from New York to the Polar Ocean, which he obeyed, taking Maria with him, when they were wrecked in the Great Western (of "Britain" which was it?) on the coast of Iceland after travelling in Canada for 2 winters they returned to Glasgow where Mr McG resumed his duties of renouncing the Devil himself and denouncing all who don't do the like - at least such as the work with the followers of rank Presbytarians when I was at college with Scotch Divinity Students in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Mr Mcrae of [Rob?] Gardens answers my letter promptly and writes very civilly and kindly. Falconer has just arrived at Maulmain and was starting for the jungles, with the T at 88o he will not be in Calcutta before May. My Father says he has sent me an Aneroid Barometer a new invention strongly recommended. There have been more rows at the R.S. about a secretary. Brown supported our friend Bell against [Grove?] who carried it. Grove is a good man but not very agreeable in manner. I think his wife is a nice person and that is a great deal in giving a tone to Scientific Society. Even to half the battle with unscientific lookers on.
This is a [regular?] [?]
So goodbye for the present
Ever your affectionate
J. D. Hooker

NZSL/HOD/5/3/12 · Item · 20 May 1870
Part of Non-ZSL Collections

18 Cambridge Street
Warwick Square

20th May 1870

My dear Mr Hodgson

I have been a very long time about answering your kind letter of the 26th April and owe you an apology for it but it has been a particularly busy month with as it is one of the few times that I am able to live with my brother and we have naturally lots to do together. About your manuscripts I have had my faith rudely shaken in Hume's illustrated work and if he continues in the present strain I despair of it altogether; that printed letter was like a plunge into cold water. I do not understand it, he has the money and the materials and won't go on and most of all I am disappointed for the loss of the opportunity of utilizing your notes in a form worthy of them I feel that I have disappointed you though not so much as he has disappointed me! You very kindly say that I may make them public in any other way and this I mean to do if you think fit in the following way by publishing the notes in a series of papers in the 'Ibis' a family at a time and with one or two of the most valuable figures [stigle canopus?] and the general anatomical part either in a separate pamphlet6 or in the P.Z.S. and they I think will give me engravings of all the structural plates. This seems to me to the best plan at present and the way in which they will prove of the most value to science as the Ibis has a very wide circulation, but it is a very different thing to what I had hoped when I was with you and to the visions I had in mind of Hume's almost perfect work on ornithology! This of course would be a work of [time?] and even in England I could not get half the leisure I want to do it thoroughly and in India my moments for ornitholo0gy are few and far between and I should like to have Mr. Grote's opinion to whether I should be justified i taking to India the parts not worked out before I left England. If you approve of this I will set to work at it will a will and if Hume wants to bring out his 'great work' at any future time he can quote those from the Ibis as he already quotes largely. I hope when I get at hi in London to bring him to the point but at present I confess I am utterly disheartened with him. Please let me know what you think of this. I think Mr. Grote is with you now. I heard from [Lincolnshire?] that Mr and Mrs Colville are staying with you if so please remember me kindly to them. I leave town on the [first?] of June I am going to the north of Ireland. Please give my kindest regards to Mrs Hodgson and believe me Ever Yours Very Sincerely
G.F.L. Marshall

P.S. We have received your cheque for the [?]. I sent a receipt, it was very kind of you to pay up in advance, we are getting on fast and suspect the whole nine numbers to be out next Spring. Your notes are the only ones of real value in the book

To Brian Houghton Hodgson

NZSL/HOD/5/4/12 · Item · 23 Jan 1845
Part of Non-ZSL Collections

London Jan[uar]y 23 1845

The Hon [?]
The Court of Directors of the E[ast] I[ndia] Comp[an]y


I have the honor to tender to the acceptance of the Court of Directors a series of duplicates of my extensive Collection relative to the Zoology of Nepal and Tibet the result of several years research in the district heretofore unexplored

I have etc
B.H. Hodgson
Late Rest. Nepal

655 Birds
102 Mammals
45 Osteological