Chronology of events: Royal Society

For some events, the year is certain but the month and day are not. Example: We know only the year for the collections of Leeuwenhoek's letters published in Dutch during his lifetime.

For other events, the season or month are certain but the day is not. Example: Leeuwenhoek mentions that someone visited him "last month".

On the other hand, many events did indeed happen on the first day of a month. Example: public appointments to Delft's city offices took effect on January 1 of each year. Thus:

  • A date of January 1 in a given year may indicate that the year is certain but the month and day are not.
  • A date of 1 in a given month may indicate that the year and month are certain but the day is not.

Unless otherwise indicated, for events in England, the date given is Old Style, 10 days behind the Dutch Republic's New Style until 1700 and then 11 days behind.

January 1, 1665 Robert Hooke's Micrographia published
May 7, 1673 The Royal Society received Leeuwenhoek's first letter
May 19, 1673 At age 40, first letter published in Philosophical Transactions
October 25, 1674 The Royal Society began requiring an oath of secrecy from the members who attended meetings
November 12, 1674 The Royal Society read and discussed Leeuwenhoek's letter of June 1, 1674
February 11, 1677 The Royal Society read the first part of Leeuwenhoek's long letter of the previous October 9
February 18, 1677 The Royal Society read the second part of Leeuwenhoek's long letter of October 9, 1676
March 8, 1677 The Royal Society read the third part of Leeuwenhoek's long letter of October 9, 1676.
March 25, 1677 The Royal Society published Leeuwenhoek's letter of October 9, 1676, reporting microbes in infusions
April 8, 1677 The Royal Society read Leeuwenhoek's letter of March 23, 1677
May 18, 1677 Benedict Haan and Henry Cordes wrote to the Royal Society attesting to microbes in Leeuwenhoek's infusions
May 27, 1677 The Royal Society read Leeuwenhoek's letter of May 14, 1677
June 2, 1677 Robbert Gordon wrote to the Royal Society attesting to microbes in Leeuwenhoek's infusions
August 13, 1677 Aldert Hodenpijl wrote to the Royal Society attesting to microbes in Leeuwenhoek's infusions
August 21, 1677 Johannes Boogert, Robert Poitevin, and W. van der Burch wrote to the Royal Society attesting to microbes in Leeuwenhoek's infusions
August 30, 1677 Alex Petrie wrote to the Royal Society attesting to microbes in Leeuwenhoek's infusions
September 5, 1677 mentor Henry Oldenburg died in London
October 15, 1677 The Royal Society requested that Robert Hooke try to replicate Leeuwenhoek's observations
November 11, 1677 Robert Hooke failed to demonstrate "minute animals" in pump water. The Royal Society read the testimonials from people in Delft.
November 18, 1677 Robert Hooke again failed, using an improved microscope
November 25, 1677 Robert Hooke finally succeeded in replicating Leeuwenhoek's observations of little animals
December 11, 1677 Robert Hooke wrote to Leeuwenhoek verifying his observations in pepper water
January 27, 1678 Robert Hooke read Letter 23 of 1678-01-14
February 3, 1678 Robert Hooke produced two experiments on blood and milk and read the latter part of the letter of 1678-01-14 about phlegm and little animals in pepper water
February 11, 1678 Robert Hooke wrote to Leeuwenhoek about how he verified Leeuwenhoek’s observations of little animals in a pepper infusion
July 20, 1679 Robert Hooke read his translation of Letter 28 of 1679-04-25 to Nehemiah Grew
July 27, 1679 Robert Hooke showed the Royal Society microscopical observations of the liquor in a ram's testicles
August 10, 1679 Robert Hooke showed the Royal Society microscopical observations of a cock's testicles
January 25, 1680 Robert Hooke read part of Letter 29 of 1680-01-12 about the structure of wood
February 1, 1680 Robert Hooke read copy of letter to Huygens of 1679-05-20 about the number and size of little animals in ginger water
February 2, 1680 Robert Hooke inquired whether Leeuwenhoek would accept election to the Royal Society
February 8, 1680 Elected a member by the Royal Society
February 22, 1680 Thomas Gale authorized by the Royal Society to send diploma with seal to Leeuwenhoek
February 29, 1680 The Royal Society ordered that its coat of arms be engraved on the silver box holding Leeuwenhoek's diploma
March 4, 1680 The Royal Society discussed a silver box for Leeuwenhoek's diploma
March 7, 1680 The Royal Society further discussed Leeuwenhoek's diploma
March 8, 1680 Thomas Gale sent Leeuwenhoek official notice of his election as member of the Royal Society
March 21, 1680 Royal Society postponed reading copy of letter of 1679-05-20 to Huygens
March 28, 1680 Royal Society again postponed reading copy of letter of 1679-05-20 to Huygens
April 11, 1680 Robert Hooke read Letter 30 of 1680-04-05 about rat sperm and organisms in gills of oysters and sap of vines
April 22, 1680 Robert Hooke sent Leeuwenhoek official notice of his election as member of the Royal Society
March 11, 1682 Robert Hooke read the first part of Letter 35 of 1682-03-03 to himself about striated muscle fibres of mammals and fishes
March 18, 1682 Robert Hooke read part of Letter 35 of 1682-03-03 to himself about muscle fibers
July 28, 1683 The Royal Society read Letter 38 of 1683-07-16 (AB 72) to Christopher Wren
August 4, 1683 The Royal Society discussed Letter 38 of 1683-07-16 (AB 72) to Christopher Wren about the male seed in egg yolks
May 24, 1684 The Royal Society read first part of Letter 41 of 1684-04-14 to Francis Aston the crystalline humour of the eye
May 31, 1684 The Royal Society discussed Leeuwenhoek's observations about the crystalline humour of the eye
December 13, 1684 The Royal Society read the first part of Letter 42 of 1684-07-25 to Members of the Royal Society
January 31, 1685 The Royal Society read the former part of Letter 43 of 1685-01-05 about salts in vinegar and wine
February 7, 1685 The Royal Society read and discussed the latter part of Letter 43 of 1685-01-05
February 13, 1685 Visited by Thomas Molyneux on behalf of the Royal Society
April 4, 1685 The Royal Society read the former part of Letter 44 of 1685-01-23 about salts in wormwood, alum, and other substances
May 9, 1685 The Royal Society read the part of Letter 44 of 1685-01-23 about oil of tartar, potash, and camphor
May 16, 1685 The Royal Society read the latter part of Letter 44 of 1685-01-23 about salts in ashes, lime, soda, and sal armoniac
May 28, 1685 The Dublin Philosophical Society asked the Royal Society for a copy of Letter 44 of 1685-01-23 on salts of wine and vinegar
June 20, 1685 The Royal Society read part of Letter 45 of 1685-03-30 about the role of eggs and male sperm in a female dog
June 27, 1685 The Royal Society read the latter part of Letter 45 of 1685-03-30 about sperm and eggs in sheep and rabbits
August 27, 1685 editor Edmond Halley did not publish any letters by Leeuwenhoek in Philosophical Transactions from 1685 to 1693
November 14, 1685 The Royal Society read and discussed Letter 46 of 1685-07-13 about reproduction of trees, comparison of reproduction of mammals with the reproduction of plants, and cross-breeding
January 23, 1686 The Royal Society read part of Letter 47 of 1685-10-12 about embryo plants in cotton seeds
February 6, 1686 The Royal Society elected Edmond Halley as clerk
March 2, 1686 Edmond Halley wrote a letter to Leeuwenhoek reviewing his recent "ingenious and curious communications"
March 13, 1686 The Royal Society read part of Letter 47 of 1685-10-12 about chyle, sweat, pores of the skin, the crystalline humour of the eye, and the optic nerve
March 20, 1686 The Royal Society read part of Letter 47 of 1685-10-12 about gall and the scales and slime of fish
March 27, 1686 The Royal Society ordered that the unread part of Letter 47 of 1685-10-12 be read at the next meeting
April 3, 1686 The Royal Society asked Francis Lodwick to translate Letter 48 of 1686-01-22 about cinnebar and gunpowder
April 10, 1686 The Royal Society read and discussed Letter 48 of 1686-01-22 about cinnebar and gunpowder
April 24, 1686 The Royal Society ordered that Letter 49 of 1686-04-02 be translated
May 1, 1686 The Royal Society read part of Letter 48 of 1686-01-22 about the particles composing cinnabar
May 8, 1686 The Royal Society read another part of Letter 48 of 1686-01-22 about gunpowder explosions and cannon lengths

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