John Harwood wrote Letter L-321 of 1697-05-17 to Leeuwenhoek about enclosed issues of Philosophical Transactions

May 17, 1697

This letter is known only by reference in another letter.

In this letter, John Harwood writes a courteous letter to Leeuwenhoek about the two numbers of Philosophical Transactions that he is enclosing. He asks Leeuwenhoek which numbers he is missing.

The date is New Style, which was ten days ahead of the Old Style date of 7 May 1697 used by Harwood in London. This is the only known letter between Leeuwenhoek and attorney and Royal Society council member John Harwood (1661-1731). He was elected a member of the Royal Society on 3 November 1686. See Birch, The History of the Royal Society of London, vol. IV, p. 499.

The work by Malpighi is Opera Posthuma (Posthumous works), sent to the Royal Society, “by whose care it was publish’d” in 1697 in London by A. & J. Churchill. Philosophical Transactions, vol. 19, no. 228, contains a detailed summary of the book and the circumstances of its publication.

For Philip van Leeuwen, see his Letter L-327 of 18 August 1697.

The issues of Philosophical Transactions vol. 16, no. 186, of March 1687 through vol. 17, no. 195, of October 1692, edited by Richard Waller, contain no letters by Leeuwenhoek. The issues of Philosophical Transactions vol. 18, no. 208, of February 1694 through vol. 19, no. 219, of February 1696 contain excerpts from only two of Leeuwenhoek’s letters to the Royal Society, both in no. 213, also edited by Waller. They are Letter L-178 of 10 July 1686 and Letter L-216 of 3 March 1692. In the six years between them, Leeuwenhoek sent 18 letters to the Royal Society that were never published in Philosophical Transactions.


Letter L-329 of 10 September 1697 to the Royal Society

I have received the work of Malpighi published after his death, and later on a small bundle of Philosophical Transactions, addressed to Rotterdam to Mr Philip van Leeuwen, and since then two more Transactions from the accurate and very observant Doctor Harwood, member of the Royal Society. I remain most grateful and obliged for all the said generous presents as well as all the courteous treatment I received in your letter of the 7th of May last. …

Doctor Harwood requested me to commit to paper what Philosophical Transactions have not been sent to me for the past few years. I therefore take the liberty to inform your honour that the Transactions Nos 186 to 195 inclusive and Nos 208 to 219 inclusive have not been sent to me.