William Stanley wrote Letter L-211 of 1691-09-21 to Leeuwenhoek, a courtesy letter

September 21, 1691

This letter is known only by reference in another letter.

In this courtesy letter, Stanley writes that the members of the Royal Society want to be of service to Leeuwenhoek.

The date is New Style, which was ten days ahead of the Old Style date of 11 September 1691 used by Stanley in London. This is the only known correspondence between Stanley and L.

William Stanley (1647-1731) got his B.A. degree from St. John’s College at Cambridge and his M.A. degree at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, in 1670. In 1685, the Archbishop of Canterbury conferred on him the degree of D.D. (Doctor of Divinity) and he was appointed Court Chaplain to Mary Stuart. Stanley stayed with her in Holland from 1685 to 1689.

Both Mary and Stanley visited Leeuwenhoek in 1688 before she left for England to assume the English throne with her husband Willem, the Dutch stadtholder. In 1689, Stanley was appointed Archdeacon of London.

In 1689, according to L.’s Letter L-207 of October 1689 to Christiaan Huygens, Leeuwenhoek sent a copy of one of his books to Constantijn Huygens in London to give to Stanley.


Letter L-212 of 27 November 1691 to the Royal Society

The very reverend and most learned Doctor William Stanley writes to me from Whitehall on the 11/21. September. 1691. that Your Honours wish their services to be presented to me. I remain extremely obliged for these complaisances, and only wish to have the ability to serve Your Honours.