Hans Sloane wrote Letter L-453 on behalf of the Royal Society about recent letters and numbers of Philosophical Transactions

June 3, 1707

This letter is known only by reference in Leeuwenhoek’s reply. The date is New Style, which was eleven days ahead of the Old Style date of 23 May 1707 used by the Royal Society in London. 

In this letter, the Royal Society accounts for Leeuwenhoek’s recent letters and assures him that letters from him are always welcome and that the most recent have been translated, printed in Philosophical Transactions, and sent to Leeuwenhoek.

The letter was most likely written by Hans Sloane as second secretary of the Society and editor of Philosophical Transactions.

The letters that Leeuwenhoek referred to as having written to Chamberlayne all begin “Very Noble Sirs, Gentlemen of the Royal Society in London”. In Letter L-446 of 19 March 1706, published in Philosophical Transactions, vol. 25, no. 305, Leeuwenhoek discussed mixing his blood with the crushed seed of the East Indian tree “Euwane” tree and water and about hempseed and the effects of a drink made from it. In Letter L-447 of 20 April 1706, idem, vol. 26, no. 314, he described the intestines of a woman who had been hanged, as well as the colon. Letter L-448 of 1 June 1706, idem, vol. 25, no. 307, is about the spleen of a sheep and the sting of a flea. The three letters were read at meetings of the Royal Society on 24 April, 22 May, and 20 November 1706.


Letter L-454 of 5 July 1707 to the Royal Society

I have seen, very noble sirs, in your very welcome letter of the 23rd of May 1707 that my letters, which I wrote to Mr. Chamberlayne, were received by you, and you had them translated and printed in the Transactions and had assured me that my letters are always welcome and that the Transactions, since those I last received, were sent to me and were already on board a ship, for which generous present I am highly grateful.