David Gregory wrote Letter L-113 to Leeuwenhoek as cover letter for Letter L-112 from Hooke

July 17, 1681

This letter is known only by reference in another letter.

The excerpt below from Letter L-114 of 4 November 1681 has a mistranslation. Letter L-113 of 17 July 1781, in this volume, is Gregory’s cover letter, not “Your [Hooke’s] letter”.

This is the only known correspondence between Leeuwenhoek and Scottish merchant, mathematician, and inventor David Gregory (1659-1708).

When Gregory wrote this letter, he was still a student at the University of Edinburgh. Twenty years later, he was a fellow of the Royal Society and he and Leeuwenhoek both had articles in two numbers of Philosophical Transactions, vol. 24 (1704-1705), no. 289 and no. 293. Gregory wrote on astronomy.


Letter L-114 of 4 November 1681 to Robert Hooke

Your letter, dated July 17th, was forwarded to me from Rotterdam, under cover to the ingenious and noble Mr. D. Gregory, who assures me in your name that everything I have communicated shall be faithfully published. Moreover, his letter is full of courteous expressions and its writer expresses his anxiety to see me; only, time did not permit him as he had to leave Holland. He adds the hope that I shall not fail to continue my research, a hope you also express in your letter.