Francis Aston wrote Letter L-161 of some time between August and October 1685 to inform Leeuwenhoek that Letter L-159 had been received but not yet read

August 9, 1685

This letter is known only by reference in another letter. It is here given the date of its earliest possible writing, the day after the Royal Society adjourned for its summer recess.

In this letter, Francis Aston writes to Leeuwenhoek to inform him that his recent letter about the reproduction of trees is received but has not been read to the Society.

This is Aston’s last letter to Leeuwenhoek. See Letter L-123 of 26 February 1683 for an overview of their correspondence and Appendix 4 for a complete list of their correspondence.

Aston’s previous letter to Leeuwenhoek was Letter L-158 of 27 June 1685. L. did not respond directly to Aston. In Letter L-159 of 13 July 1685 to the Royal Society, he discussed the reproduction of trees.

Aston’s present letter was thus written sometime between the Society’s last session on 8 August 1685 (29 July 1685 O.S.), and L.’s next letter to the Society, Letter L-166 of 12 October 1685. See Birch, The History of the Royal Society of London, vol. IV p. 424.


Letter L-166 of 12 October 1685 to the Royal Society

My last, most humble letter to Your Honours was on the 13th of July last. Since which time your hon. secretary, Mr. Francis Aston has written to me to say that he had duly received my observations; but that the same had not yet been read at Your Honours’ meeting, because they had come while Your Honours were not in session.