Richard Waller wrote Letter L-506 about Letter L-504 and promised to publish whatever Leeuwenhoek sent

July 27, 1714

In this unpublished letter, Waller acknowledged the receipt of Leeuwenhoek’s latest letter and thanked Leeuwenhoek for his ongoing communication with the Royal Society. He stated that he will publish whatever Leeuwenhoek sent to him and will get the numbers of Philosophical Transactions to him as soon as possible.

The date is New Style, which was eleven days ahead of the Old Style date of 16 July used by Waller in London. On the back side of the manuscript page, Waller wrote “To Mr Leeuwenhoek July 16, 1714 To be entered in the Letter Book.” The copy found in the Letter Book Original vol. 15, p. 109 begins, “A Letter to Mr. Leeuwenhoek from Mr. Waller S.S.R. dated July the 16th 1714.” Neither manscript nor copy is signed.

Leeuwenhoek referred to Waller’s letter in the postscript to Letter L-507 of 21 August 1714 to the Royal Society

Today, when I was about to seal this down, I received the very pleasant letter of July the 16th from you, very noble sirs, as well as a parcel of Transactions, which is brought to my house by a servant of the very honourable gentleman, Mr van Boetselaar.

Van Boetselaar is not identified.

Waller was not able to fulfill his promise to publish Leeuwenhoek because Edmond Halley was the editor of Philosophical Transactions. See note 3 below.


The manuscript is to be found in London, Royal Society, Early Letters B2.101, 1 page. The spelling and punctuation have been modernized. Copied and pasted from Collected Letters, vol. 20, "this volume" in the footnotes.

Worthy Sir

Although I sent the last week by the post a letter[1] in answer to yours of the 22d of June last[2] yet I cannot omit this opportunity of presenting you with my particular service and acquainting you with the honourable sense the Society have of your communications with our desire of the continuation of them; as I intimated in my last, I shall very speedily set upon the publication of the Transactions of which for some reasons I shall publish one every 3 or 4 months which will be about as large as the single ones used to be formerly, which as soon as published I have at your service, which shall constantly be sent by the first conveniency and what discoveries you shall think fit to transmit to us I shall take care to have inserted in them[3]. So wishing you health, I am etc.


[1] Letter L-505 of 19 July 1714, in this volume.

[2] Letter 306 [X] L-504 of 22 June 1714, in this volume.

[3] Edmond Halley was the editor of Philosophical Transactions for volumes 29 and 30, so Waller must have been assisting him, to no avail, however, because Halley published none of the 10 letters that L. addressed to the Royal Society between June 1714 and November 1717. In Letter L-575 of 26 May 1722, Collected Letters, vol. 19, the new Royal Society secretary and Philosophical Transactions editor James Jurin reported his discovery that several letters had not even been translated from the Dutch.