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Link: • Johan Frederik Gronovius to Carl Linnaeus, 19 August 1735 n.s.
Dated Aug. 19 1735. Sent from Leiden (Netherlands) to Amsterdam (Netherlands). Written in Latin.

Vir Doctissime

Praesens occasio me adhortatur, ut literas ad Dom[inum] CliffordClifford, George (1685-1760).
Dutch. Banker and merchant in Amsterdam,
Linnaeus’s benefactor. Owner of
Hartecamp and its botanical garden
outside Haarlem. Correspondent of
[1] de rebus nostris scripserim, quarum contenta in adjuncta charta videbis, quae placitura fore Tibi spero.

Quem vidisti heri Anglum D[ominum] BedforthBedford, John Russell, 4th Duke of
(1710-1771). British. Renowned
for his botanical interests.
, virum probum diu novi, proin nostris in rebus maximum auxilium praestare poterit.[2] Desidero itaque ut conditionibus (quas heri Tibi tradidi) subscribas titulos librorum, et paucis verbis eorum contenta enarres. In animo quippe habeo illas conditiones statim imprimere, ut paratae sint illo tempore quo petit Angliam, ubi notissimus est omnibus doctis & bonis. Verum desidero ut singulis libellis subscribas quot plagulas circumcirca comprehendet, ita enim calculum inire potero de expensis & reliquis. Et quamprimum haec sunt parata, velim ad me mittas, una cum plagula quadam de Bibliotheca vestra Botanica, ut videam characterem et chartam.[3] Scripsi etiam ad Dom[inum] Clifford de hac, ut si placeat, eadem forma vestra incuderemus, de quibus cum D[omino] Clifford & BurmanBurman, Johannes (1707-1779).
Dutch. Botanist, professor of medicine
in Amsterdam. Close friend of Linnaeus.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
poteris colloqui et eorum sententiam mecum communicare. Neque opinor nocere poterit, si ad amicos in Suecia degentes, vel Germania, et Hamburgo, scribas, et illis indices geographiam vestram tribus tabulis comprehensam, una cum observationibus et annotationibus intra 4 hebdomadas impressam fore [sic],[4] et non nisi apud Dom[inum] Theodor[um] HaakHaak, Theodoor (?-1768).
Dutch. Bookseller, Leiden.
bibliopolam Leydensem e regione Academiae posse conquiri parata pecunia, solvendo pro tribus hisce tabulis thalerum argenteum sive triginta stuferos.[5] Antequam autem Indicem operum Vestrorum ad me mittas, quaeso eum perlegendum des domino Clifford et Burmanno, ut eorum sententiam de iis et de conditionibus (in Epistola ad D[ominum] Clifford recensitis) pernoscamus.

Vale et saluta D[ominum] Burmannum.

I[oannes] F[redericus] Gronovius

Lugd[uni] Bat[avorum], Aug[usti] 19 1735.

[address] Mijn Heer De H[ee]r Carolus Linnaeus Med[icinae] Doct[or] / ten huyse de Heer Burman Med[icinae] Doct[or] en Professor in de Botanie / Te Amsterdam.


Johan Frederik Gronovius informs Linnaeus about the letter he has recently written to Clifford in which the practical conditions of Gronovius’s and Linnaeus’s joint project are expounded. Linnaeus is kindly asked to draw up a list containing the titles of the books he aims to compose, as well as a summary of their contents and the estimated number of pages. This list should be added to the sheet containing the conditions which Gronovius has sent him the other day. It will enable Gronovius to calculate the expenses involved in publishing these books. At the same time, the conditions will be printed together with the list and distributed in England through Bedforth whom Gronovius is acquainted with and who is well-known amongst men of learning and standing. Linnaeus should send the list to Gronovius together with a sheet of his Bibliotheca botanica. If the sheet gives satisfaction, the same character and format can be used for the books which are to be printed in Leiden. This issue may be discussed with George Clifford and Johannes Burman. Next, Gronovius suggests Linnaeus to contact his friends in Sweden and Germany, especially in Hamburg, in order to announce the publication of his “natural geography” in three tables (his Systema naturae). Finally, Linnaeus is asked to show the list of books drawn up by him to Clifford and Burman who are invited to give their opinion about the list and the conditions enumerated in Gronovius’s letter to Clifford.

[i/1] The back of the sheet (L.S., V, 362) contains a short note written by Linnaeus himself, which seems to be a draft letter addressed to Johannes Burman (“Celeberrimo et Experientissimo Johanni Burmanno”). In it Linnaeus states that the day before he has completed the Rustica Latina: “Complevi heri rustica latina: Cato, Varro, Columella, Palladius, Nov[us] Martialis Gargil[ius], Vegetius”. From the bibliographical information provided by Linnaeus it can easily be inferred that he used the edition of the Scriptores rei rusticae veteris Latini edited by Johann Matthias GesnerGesner, Johann Matthias
(1691-1761). German. Philosopher and
philologist. Professor in
, issued in Leipzig in 1735. As the note is written on the back of Gronovius’s letter of 19 August 1735, it should have been written on the same day or thereabouts. The work is not to be found in Linnaeus’s private collection of books conserved at the Linnean Society of London.


a. original holograph (LS, V, 361-362). [1] [2] [3]


The letter is not preserved.
For the relationship between Bedforth and Gronovius, see also Gronovius’s letters to Linnaeus of 12 OctoberLetter L0048 and 19 October 1735Letter L0047.
This is a reference to Systema naturaeLinnaeus, Carl Systema
naturae, sive regna tria naturae
systematice proposita per classes,
ordines, genera & species

(Leiden 1735). Soulsby no. 39.
. According to Gronovius’s estimation, the printing should be finished on 16 September 1735. This prognosis subsequently turned out to be far too optimistic. The printing would not be ready until 13 December 1735. See Gronovius’s letter to Linnaeus of 3 December 1735 and the postscript of 9 DecemberLetter L0058. See also Engel-Ledeboer & Engel, IntroductionLinnaeus, Carl , 7.
In the end the price of Systema naturaeLinnaeus, Carl Systema
naturae, sive regna tria naturae
systematice proposita per classes,
ordines, genera & species

(Leiden 1735). Soulsby no. 39.
was raised to 50 stivers (stuferi). See Gronovius’s letter to Linnaeus of 30 December 1735Letter L0056.