To William Thiselton-Dyer1    19 September 1885



For some time, dear Mr Dyer, no particular cause arose, to write to Sir Joseph or yourself; but now 2 or 3 subjects are on my mind concerning which I ought to write to Kew; hence these lines.

1, We here prepare also a variety of things for the London-Exhibition;2 and altho’ it may be intended, to establish an Indian and Colonial Museum in your great City, many of the articles from my Department will be “in duplo” or they will admit of division. If you expressed to me a desire, in an early communication, that such articles of vegetable origin as could be spared from the Victorian Court, would be desirable for Kew-Museum, I could give directions to that effect, before the Victorian Commissioners are leaving for London.

With my usual loyalty I would do for Kew what I can; no exhibits of mine are to be returned to my Department.

2, The Rev. B. Scortechini has sent me a few plants; I will look over them and then forward them to Kew.3

3. Every disposition is shown by the Ministry here, to allow me, to carry on my work in its integrity, so long as my mental faculties and physical strength are lasting; and as I got better over this winter than the last, almighty providence may grant me perhaps a few years longer, to continue my worldly labors it will not be many at best. Tomorrow evening I shall for the first time venture out to go to church, not having attended divine service during the cool season, the weather now getting warm, our May having set in, and the fruit-trees are in full bloom here now.

In all probability my herbarium will after my death be transferred to the Melbourne University and a special Professorship of Botany there be created; but this I mention to you only in strict confidence, for the matters has not been under ministerial consideration, simply no one here wishes to interfere with me, while I am able to conduct the Department still; this is but fair, as I sunk all my time and all my private means likewise in my Department.

Some clashing must take place with Beccari as regards elaboration of New Guinea plant; but his share will be N. Western, mine South Eastern.

Regardfully your

Ferd. von Mueller.


Hope you like the Zamia from S.[W]. Australia4

Best thanks for the seeds of Maximiliana &c &c just received.5




Annotated by Thiselton-Dyer: And 5.11.85 (letter not found).
Colonial and Indian Exhibition, London, 1886.
Scortechini had reported to Hooker that 'Baron von Mueller was complaining that he never got from me some novelties for our joint collaboration, so to easy off ( sic ) some material I have sent to him descriptions and specimens of several new plants'; B. Scortechini to J. Hooker, 12 June 1885, RBG Kew, Directors' correspondence, vol. 165, f, 248. In August Scortechini sent direct to Hooker specimens of a new Pseuodoeugenia he had described, also sending some to M and to O. Beccari in Florence; B. Scortechini to J. Hooker, 12 August 1885, vol. 165, ff. 251-2.
Hope .... Australia written in left hand margin, f. 157 back
Best ... received written on left hand margin, f. 156 back.

Please cite as “FVM-85-09-19,” in Ɛpsilon: The Ferdinand von Mueller Collection accessed on 20 September 2021,