Pieter vander Slaart wrote Letter L-317 some months before April 1697 about visiting Leeuwenhoek with a German doctor

April 1, 1697

This letter is known only by reference another letter.

In this letter, Vander Slaart writes that he would like to visit L. with a German doctor who has cured a sore on his leg with what the doctor calls “sympathetic powder”.

Very little is known about the life of Pieter vander Slaart, the Rotterdam publisher of Pieter Rabus’s Boekzaal van Europe, in which Rabus published letters to and from L. as well as letters to L. from Antonio Magliabechi reporting on books recently published in Italy.

The “High German” was Henricus Georgius Reddewitz de Rodachbrun, a young miracle doctor who on 22 September 1697 presented a thesis titled Vero Catheticorum Usu (True cathetical practice) to get his degree from the university in Harderwijk.

Leeuwenhoek recounted the visit by Reddewitz in Letter L-318 of 5 April 1697 to the Royal Society. See Boekzaal van Europe (January and February 1697), pp. 67-76, and Elsen, “The Rotterdam Sympathy Case (1696-1697)”.

L.’s remark that “I consented” perhaps indicates another lost letter.


Letter L-318 of 5 April 1697 to the Royal Society

A certain person having a grave sore in the thick part of his leg, who boasted that he had been cured by the sympathic powder, requests in a letter that the said High German may be brought to me, so that I might behold such a wonderful healer, a request to which I consented.