Visited by Marie-Anne Mancini, Duchess of Bouillon and others

January 1, 1683

Some time prior to Leeuwenhoek's letter of September 16, 1683, to Anthonie Heinsius, Leeuwenhoek was visited by a member of the French court who had been banished for an attempted murder of her husband, Godefroy de la Tour, Duke of Bouillon. On her tour, she was accompanied by the French ambassador, comte D'Avaux, and their various attendants. If Leeuwenhoek received them in the downstairs front room, they would hardly have all fit in.


In Letter 75 of 16 September 1683, Leeuwenhoek wrote to Anthonie Heinsius,

Mylady, the Duchess of Bouillon, accompanied by His Excellency the Ambassador D'Avaux and other Gentlemen and Ladies, visited me before leaving these parts. This lady, famous for her knowledge of languages and her intellect, took a great interest in my speculations and while offering me her great gratitude, let me know that she had not seen so many curious things in the whole of Italy, Germany and France as in my house.