115 Harley St. W.
June 13 1868
You will early in next week receive a letter from the Officers of the British Association <1> requesting you to let yourself be named as President for 1869 –
They were instructed so to write at a large meeting of the Council held to day at which a cordial unanimity prevailed on the Subject – I write to urge you most earnestly not to say no to this request. From what fell from you in a short conversation we once had at the Athenæum <2> I know your inclination will tend that way – But I venture to put it to you as a positive duty not to refuse – There is no one (you know I don’t flatter) who unites all the requisites for that office in that year as you do.
Your objection to Public speaking is of no weight as
your the discourse is written & printed beforehand, while your European reputation, your scientific, literary & classical attainments & your position in the West of England afford unite such preeminent qualifications that your appointment will go far towards assuring the success of the meeting. I write mainly in the interest of science but you know how much pleasure it will give me personally to see you & hear you from that Chair Dont say no & disappoint us all.
W R Grove
H. Fox Talbot Eq FRS &c
[added in WHFT's hand:] Grove
1. British Association for the Advancement of Science.
2. The Athenaeum Club, London: WHFT's club.