Hans Sloane wrote Letter L-402 of sometime before April 1702 to introduce James Vernon when he visited Leeuwenhoek

April 1, 1702

This letter is known only by reference in L.’s reply.

In this letter, Sloane wrote an introduction to Leeuwenhoek for James Vernon to present when he visited Leeuwenhoek.

This letter is the first of several with which Sloane introduced someone who wanted to visit Leeuwenhoek. In Letter L-480 of 18 August 1711, Leeuwenhoek wrote to James Petiver, an English visitor who was refused entrance to his house:

I would request you not to take it ill of me, since everyone who seeks to visit me is refused entrance unless he has a letter of recommendation.

For references to other letters from Sloane mentioning introductions, see Letter L-451 of 4 May 1707, introducing Gilbert Burnet, and Letter L-473 of late 1709, introducing Alexander Stuart.

For English politician James Vernon (1646-1727), see Letter 237 L-405 of 28 April 1702, n. 1, Collected Letters, vol. 14, p. 141, and the Biog. Reg., ibidem, p. 371. This James Vernon, however, is misidentified. Leeuwenhoek’s visitor was his son, James Vernon the younger (1677-1756), an English government official, diplomat, and politician who was educated at Utrecht and Rotterdam in the 1690s. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society on 6 May 1702 and was an envoy to the Danish court from 1702 to 1707. If he visited Leeuwenhoek sometime in March or April while he was on his way to Denmark, perhaps he was not in attendance when the Royal Society elected him. The confusion perhaps comes from the Dictionary of National Biography, vol. 20, pp. 277-278, which discusses both father and son in the same article.



Letter 237 L-405 of 28 April 1702 to the Royal Society

I have received the letter from Mr Hans Sloane, the secretary, in which he recommends to me Mr Vernon, who was going to the court of Denmark.