Richard Waller wrote Letter L-503 to Leeuwenhoek on behalf of the Royal Society about recent observations on muscle fibers and numbers of Philosophical Transactions

March 8, 1714

This letter is known only by reference in Leeuwenhoek’s reply. The date is New Style, which was eleven days ahead of the Old Style date of 25 February 1714 used by the Royal Society in London.

In this letter, the Royal Society graciously expresses its pleasure in having received Leeuwenhoek’s recent Letter L-499 about muscle fibers. The Society sends some numbers of Philosophical Transactions.

Beginning in 1696, Philosophical Transactions editor Hans Sloane wrote 21 letters to L., stopping only when Edmond Halley replaced him as the Royal Society’s second secretary and Philosophical Transactions editor on 30 November 1713. In 1714, the Royal Society’s first secretary and former Philosophical Transactions editor Richard Waller stepped in and wrote four letters to Leeuwenhoek. Since no one else from the Royal Society wrote to Leeuwenhoek in 1714, Waller most likely wrote the present letter, too. After he died, in either late December 1714 or early January 1715, there was no further correspondence between Leeuwenhoek and the Royal Society until the middle of 1717.


Letter L-504 of 22 June 1714 to the Royal Society

On the 17th of May last, very noble sirs, I received your very agreeable missive from London of the 25th of February 1714, in which I have seen with great satisfaction that my discoveries with regard to the very thin parts of which a muscle of flesh consists, gave great pleasure.

I remain much obliged for all of the unmerited and gracious expressions in the said missive, and also for the generous sending of the Transactions.