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Link: • Johan Frederik Gronovius to Carl Linnaeus, 14 March 1737 n.s.
Dated 14 mart. 1737.. Sent from Leiden (Netherlands) to Hartecamp (Netherlands). Written in Latin.

Doctissime Linnaee

Pro votis in ultimis vestris in me collatis plurimum me Tibi debere agnosco. Verum lubentius Te habuissem praesentem, quo gaudio me perfundi posse die Veneris[1] a D[omino] van RoyenRoyen, Adriaan van (1705-1779).
Dutch. Professor of botany, director of
the botanical garden of Leiden.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.

Verum in ultimis meis non bene intellexisti desiderata mea, non enim desiderabam nova ista genera mea, sed longe aliud quid. Nonne meministi Te composuisse Schema omnium Generum prout sequuntur in Characteribus vestris, quem velles impressum habere post praefationem, quod non potuit fieri propter typographi[2] ignaviam. Has chartas quaeso tecum capias, qua re me obligabis.[3]

Iterum literas habeo a CollinsonoCollinson, Peter (1694-1768).
British. Merchant and amateur naturalist
in London, corresponded with many
scientists. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
, qui Characteres vestros accepit, pro quibus immense se Tibi obstrictum fatetur, sed dolet quam maxime quod non apposuisti species ad characteres tales referendas. Porro scribit se ex Philadelphia accepisse quatuor libros cum plantis exsiccatis, velletque Te apud eum esse ut istas examinares. Semina Pensylvanica et decades MartiniMartyn, John (1699-1768).
British. Physician, professor of botany
at Cambridge.
[4] fratriLawson, (?-?). British.
Brother of Isaac Lawson.
D[omini] LawsoniLawson, Isaac (?-1747).
British. Scottish botanist and
physician. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
, qui omni momento hic expectatur, tradidit, cum quo sine dubio a DillenioDillenius, Johann Jacob
(1684-1747). German/British. Studied at
Giessen. Sherardian professor of botany
at Oxford. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
et CatesbaeoCatesby, Mark (1682-1749).
British. Naturalist and artist. Best
known for his illustrated work The
Natural history of Carolina, Florida and
the Bahama islands
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
habebo plura.[5] ShawShaw, Thomas (1692-1751).
British. Explorer, professor of Greek at
Oxford. Collector of natural history
objects. Travelled in the Middle East
and in Africa.
admodum cum opere retardatur.[6] Aliud tamen bene procedit teste Lawsono, qui manus adjutrices adhibere non dedignatur.

Vale et fave Tuo

Lugd[uni] Bat[avorum] 14 mart[ij] 1737.

[address] Mijn Heer / Mijn Heer Carolus Linnaeus Med[icinae] Doct[or] / op de Hartecamp / Met de Schuyt van half een / den 14 April [sic].[b][b] : <imp>Imo Maart.


Johan Frederik Gronovius thanks Linnaeus for his birthday congratulations. However, he would have been far happier if Linnaeus had been able to take part in the birthday party. Nonetheless, he is very glad to hear from Adriaan van Royen that Linnaeus will pay him a visit on Friday.

Gronovius informs his friend that he misunderstood the request he made in his previous letter. Gronovius did not ask the list of new genera but rather the table of genera described in Genera plantarum which Linnaeus wanted to have printed after the preface to the work. Gronovius failed to comply with Linnaeus’s wishes because the printer proved to be too lazy.

Gronovius received once again a letter from Peter Collinson. The latter informed him that he received a copy of Genera plantarum for which he is very grateful to the author. However, he regrets Linnaeus did not indicate the various species that are to be subsumed under the different genera. Furthermore, Collinson told Gronovius that he received four books of dried plants from Philadelphia. He would like Linnaeus to pay him a visit in order to examine the plants. Collinson has handed down to Isaac Lawson’s brother new seeds from Pensylvania as well as the decades of John Martyn’s Historia plantarum rariorum. Lawson’s brother is expected to arrive in Leiden at any moment. It is likely that he will bring along with him various things that have been offered to Linnaeus by Johannes Jacobus Dillenius and Mark Catesby. Thomas Shaw is not making good progress with his work. The other work is going well, however, as is testified by Lawson who is rendering assistance.[7]


a. original holograph (LS, V, 418). [1] [2] [3]


<imp> The colour of the ink proves that the sentence “Vale et fave Tuo J[oanni] F[rederico] Gronovio” was added later.
<imp>Imo Maart.


Friday 15 March; the letter is dated on Thursday 14 March.
The second edition of Genera plantarumLinnaeus, Carl Genera
plantarum eorumque characteres naturales
secundum numerum, figuram, situm &
proportionem omnium fructificationis
(Leiden 1737). Soulsby no.
issued in 1742 contains the “Ordo Generum” that is referred to in this letter (pp. 21-39).
This is a reference to Martyn, Historia plantarum rariorumMartyn, John Historia
plantarum rariorum centuriae primae
, I-V (London 1728-[1737]).
See also Gronovius’s letter to Linnaeus of 26 March 1737 n.s.Letter L0152.
This is a reference to Shaw, TravelsShaw, Thomas Travels, or
observations relating to several parts
of Barbary and the Levant
(1738). It was a monumental work, illustrated by maps and plates, catalogues of animals, plants, fossils, coins and inscriptions. In his letter to Linnaeus of 17 March 1739 n.s.Letter L0278, Gronovius informed his friend that the work had finally appeared and that the catalogue of plants it contained could be purchased separately.
The meaning of the sentence “aliud tamen bene procedit” is not clear.