Francis Aston wrote Letter L-151 to Leeuwenhoek that Letter L-150 had not been read by the Royal Society

September 15, 1684

This letter is known only by reference in another letter.

In this letter, Francis Aston writes to inform Leeuwenhoek that his most recent letter has not been read yet because the Royal Society is not in session.

Leeuwenhoek does not give a date for the present letter, but Aston’s previous letter to Leeuwenhoek is Letter L-148 of 7 June 1684, in this volume, to which Leeuwenhoek replied with Letter 81 [42] L-150 of 25 July 1686 to the Royal Society. The first part of it discusses brains, blood vessels in the human eye, the skin of lepers in Harlem and of eels, and moxa, the Chinese remedy for gout. It was read in London on 3 December 1684 O.S. Thus, Aston wrote the present letter to Leeuwenhoek some time after that letter was received and before the Royal Society returned from recess for a meeting on 29 October 1684 O.S. See Birch, The History of the Royal Society of London, vol. IV, p. 324, 340.

Leeuwenhoek did not reply to the present letter directly because he had begun addressing letters to the members of the Royal Society in general instead of to the secretary, which is how he addressed his next letter, Letter L-152 of 5 January 1685 about salts in vinegar and wine.


Letter L-152 of 5 January 1685 to the Royal Society

Your honoured secretary, Mr. Francis Aston, has informed me that the contents of my last letter to your worships, dated 25th July 1684, had not been read before them collectively, because the Royal Society was not in session at that time.