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Link: • Louis François Angier d’ Angerville to Carl Linnaeus, 5 September 1747 n.s.
Dated 5 Septembris anni 1747. Sent from Rouen (France) to Uppsala (Sweden). Written in Latin.


Je sai trop ce que Vous vallés par Vous meme pour m’atribuer ce que votre politesse Vous fait dire par La Lettre que Vous m’avés fait l’honneur de m’ecrire du 11/22 avril: Au contraire, Monsieur, c’est moy qui Vous dois des remercimens de la preferance que Vous avés bien voulu m’accorder en acceptant chez moy un mauvais logement, ce qui me procuroit l’agrement de Votre societé, dans un tems, ou je pense que la mienne etoit assez insipide par les circonstences critiques ou je me trouvois.

Un merite comme le Votre se fait aisément jour et n’a besoin de l’entremise de personne, mais un profit réel qui revient a ceux qui au moins font semblant d’y aider, c’est, qu’ils honorent leur gout et leur discernement: C’est aussy là le motif qui me fait agir aujord’huy que je Vous envois la Lettre que vous avés bien voulu me demander pour Son Excellence M[onsieu]r le Comte Gyllenborg, car […]conscience[a][a] : MS1 [manuscript damaged] , Monsieur, je ne vois personne qui puisse Vous disputer la place que Vous paroissés désirer

Je sois avec une parfaitte estime et consideration
Votre tres humble et tres
obeïssant serviteur

Paris ce 2/13. may 1740.


Louis François Augier d’AngervilleAngerville, Louis François
Angier d’
(1706-1779). French.
Member of the Académie des
sciences, belles-lettres et arts de
Rouen. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
is approaching Linnaeus since he is confident that Linnaeus is interested in all that belongs to botany. He also hopes that Linnaeus can understand that d’Angerville wants to have the best mentor available for his studies, especially as he has studied several of Linnaeus’s works with great pleasure.

d’Angerville had become interested in botany even before Linnaeus’s works began to appear, and he is still interested. d’Angerville had at first followed Joseph Pitton de TournefortTournefort de, Joseph Pitton
(1656-1708). French. Botanist and
explorer, professor of botany at Paris.
and learned several species. Then, the surgeons Antoine DufayDufay, Antoine (1680-1771).
French. Physician, surgeon and botanist.
President of the Académie des
sciences when Linnaeus visited Paris in
1738. One of the founders of the
Académie des Sciences,
Belles-Lettres et Arts de Rouen.
and Jean MoyencourtMoyencourt, Jean (1681-1756).
French. Surgeon to the royal court,
Paris. Also worked as a botanist. One of
the founders of the Académie des
Sciences, Belles-Lettres et Arts de
, also keen botanists both of them, had helped d’Angerville to arrange a small garden in Rouen after Tournefort’s system, and d’Angerville had worked at that for a long time. The garden eventually became very nice, and Bernard de JussieuJussieu, Bernard de
(1699-1777). French. Professor of
botany, brother of Antoine and Joseph de
Jussieu. Demonstrator at the Jardin des
plantes. Sébastien Vaillant’s
successor. Uncle of Antoine Laurent de
Jussieu. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
had visited it several times and made contributions to it. It had become part of the new university at Rouen.

Rouen is a famous town, best known for commerce, but it had been considered appropriate to make it more active in science and humanities as well. With the approval of the King [Louis XVLouis XV, (1710-1774).
French. Reigned 1715-1774.
], an academy had been established little more than two years earlier, [d’Angerville refers to the Académie des Sciences, Belles-Lettres et Arts de RouenAcadémie des sciences,
belles-lettres et arts de Rouen,

French. The Académie des
Sciences, Belles-Lettres et Arts de
Rouen was founded in 1744. The Academy
was suppressed in 1793, but resumed its
activities in 1804.
], and it grows day by day. An able man by the name of SimonSimon, French?. Physician,
, a doctor of medicine and famous for several works, has come to the town, and he will be appointed demonstrator of the garden next year, with the intention of following Linnaeus’s system.

However, this means that the garden has to be rearranged, and the Tournefort system that d’Angerville has worked at for so long has to be abandoned. It will be hard work, and they will perhaps not apply all the levels of Linnaeus’s system, especially as Linnaeus has not yet assigned names to all the plants that they have. Linnaeus’s system will supply a firm basis for the work.

To help them in their work, d’Angerville has translated Linnaeus’s Fundamenta botanicaLinnaeus, Carl Fundamenta
botanica, quae majorum operum prodromi
instar theoriam scientiae botanices per
breves aphorismos tradunt
1736). Soulsby no. 253.
[the first edition was published in 1736, and was followed by several others, published both separately and together with other works] into French and added information from Bibliotheca botanicaLinnaeus, Carl Bibliotheca
botanica recensens libros plus mille de
plantis huc usque editos, secundum
systema auctorum naturale in classes,
ordines, genera & species
dispositos, additis editionis loco,
tempore, forma, lingua etc. cum
explicatione Fundamentorum botanicorum
pars prima
(Amsterdam 1736).
, [a second edition was published in 1747, Bibliotheca botanica. Editio novaLinnaeus, Carl Bibliotheca
botanica. Editio nova multo
(Halle, 1747). Soulsby
no. 251.
], Classes plantarum seu systemata plantarumLinnaeus, Carl Classes
plantarum seu systemata plantarum. Omnia
a fructificatione desumta, quorum XVI
universalia & XIII partialia,
compendiose proposita secundum classes,
ordines et nomina generica cum clave
cujusvis methodi et synonymis genericis.
Fundamentorum botanicorum pars II

(Leiden 1738).
[a reprint of that work was reprinted in 1747] and Critica botanicaLinnaeus, Carl Critica
botanica, in qua nomina plantarum
generica, specifica & variantia
examini subjiciuntur, selectiora
confirmantur, indigna rejiciuntur;
simulque doctrina circa denominationem
plantarum traditur. Seu Fundamentorum
botanicorum pars IV. Accedit J.
Browallii De necessitate historiae
naturalis discursus
(Leiden 1737).
[this translation does not seem to have been published]. d’Angerville implores Linnaeus to continue and to give such additional information for other parts of the science as well. If that were to be done, there would be nothing to be wanted in the theory of botany.

d’Angerville admits that he addresses Linnaeus like a close friend, although generally he is timid. However, his desire to learn, and advice from Sven RinmanRinman, Sven (1720-1792).
Swedish. Mining counsellor.
, had made him bold. Rinman had promised to introduce d’Angerville to Linnaeus. d’Angerville hopes that Linnaeus will find him worthy of an answer and will send him seeds of the elegant plant that carries Linnaeus’s name. If d’Angerville had that in his garden, it would be like seeing Linnaeus himself there. In return, d’Angerville is ready to send anything that grows in his area, but all ground does not produce all kinds of plants. d’Angerville will be a humble and obedient servant.

P.S. d’Angerville gives in French the formula to be used as address on replies.


a. original holograph (LS, I, 146-147). [1] [2] [3]


1. Bref och skrifvelser (1916), vol. II:1, p. 70-72   p.70  p.71  p.72.


MS1 [manuscript damaged]
MS1 [added at the bottom of the page on fol. 84r]