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Link: • Peter Collinson to Carl Linnaeus, 17 March 1750 n.s.
Dated March 6:1749/50. O.S. . Sent from London (Great Britain) to Uppsala (Sweden). Written in English.


Peter CollinsonCollinson, Peter (1694-1768).
British. Merchant and amateur naturalist
in London, corresponded with many
scientists. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
thanks Linnaeus for his letters of October 30 [presumably from 1748] and September 20, 1749 [these letters have not come down to us].

Collinson is glad that Linnaeus has returned from his journey to Skåne. The report from that will be of interest to several people [Collinson refers to Linnaeus’s Skånska resaLinnaeus, Carl Skånska
resa, på höga
öfwerhetens befallning
förrättad år 1749. Med
rön och anmärkningar uti
oeconomien, naturalier, antiquiteter,
seder, lefnadssätt
1751). Soulsby no. 209.

Collinson is very pleased with the Medea, and he is glad Linnaeus has it in his garden. If a friend of Linnaeus’s were to go directly from London to Uppsala, he could take a root of the Collinsonia without risking that it would dry. Collinson is sorry he did not send one with Tobias BjörkBjörk, Tobias (1704-1778).
Swedish. Clergyman. Minister of the
Swedish Church in London in 1735. In
1752 dean of Norrbärke, Dalecarlia.
, to whom he sends his greetings.

The three volumes by Mark CatesbyCatesby, 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.
[Collinson refers to parts 9, 10 and 11 of Catesby’s, The Natural history of CarolinaCatesby, Mark The Natural
history of Carolina, Florida and the
Bahama Islands: containing the figures
of birds, beasts, fishes, serpents,
insects and plants: particularly the
forest-trees, shrubs, and other plants,
not hitherto described, or very
incorrectly figured by authors. Together
with their descriptions in English and
French. To which are added observations
on the air, soil, and wate: with remarks
upon agriculture, grain, pulse, roots,
&c. To the whole is prefixed a new
and correct map of the countries treated
, I-II (London 1731-1743).
] cost Collinson 6 pounds 6 shillings, and he received only four pounds from Charles De GeerDe Geer, Charles (1720-1778).
Swedish. Entomologist and natural
history collector, Leufsta Bruk. Member
of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
in Stockholm and Académie des
sciences, Paris. Corresponded with
Réaumur, Bonnet and other
naturalists. Husband of Catharina
Charlotta Ribbing and father of Emanuel
De Geer. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
. Linnaeus still owes Collinson two pounds 6 shillings. Collinson had made it very clear to De Geer in a letter, and he does not think De Geer has made a mistake. Collinson admits it is a small sum, but still too much money to lose.

Collinson is glad that Linnaeus wrote in his letter of October 30 that the library in Uppsala would be interested in Catesby’s noble and elegant work. However, he has not got an order for it from the librarian. After Catesby died on December 23, his widow has made a sale of the books by reducing the price for each volume by half a guinea, so the eleven volumes would cost 17 pounds 6 shillings and sixpence. A box and mail charges would come to that. The only thing necessary is an order for the money with a London merchant with contacts to Sweden.

There was an earthquake in England on February 8 at half past noon. It was so violent that people left their houses and ran out, fearing the houses would collapse.

Collinson does not know about the winter in Sweden, but England has had the warmest winter in memory. Only a little frost before Christmas after a long, warm and dry autumn, and afterwards warm weather again without frost or snow. The gardens are very beautiful in January and February, and almonds, apricots and peaches are in blossom.

Collinson went out into the country on February 23. The alms had small leaves, plums, almonds and cherries were in full blossom, gooseberries were showing their fruit.

On March 5, the Ficus in Collinson’s garden has small leaves, and peas and beans are in blossom if they grow under south walls.

Hans SloaneSloane, Hans (1660-1753).
British. Physician, naturalist and
collector. Secretary of the Royal
Society in 1693, president in 1727.
Sloane’s collections of natural history
objects were donated to the English
nation and were one of cornerstones of
the British Museum (1759). Correspondent
of Linnaeus.
is in good spirits, John MitchellMitchell, John (1711-1768).
British/American. Physician and
botanist. Born in Virginia. After
studies in medicine at the University of
Edinburgh he returned to Virginia as a
physician, but left America for London
in 1746. Famous for his map of eastern
North-America, known as the Mitchell
Map, first published in 1755.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
is well. The latest letter from Pehr KalmKalm, Pehr (1716-1779).
Swedish. Botanist and traveller,
professor of natural history at
Åbo. Disciple of Linnaeus.
Travelled in North America 1748-1751.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
tells that he has returned from Canada to New York, which pleases Collinson. He was afraid some Indians would attack him.

P.S. 1. Collinson mentions that Camfer [Pieter CamperCamper, Pieter (1722-1789).
Dutch. Professor at Franeker, after that
in Amsterdam and in 1763 at Groningen.
] has pleased them very much by publishing Amoenitates Academicae, seu Dissertationes variae Physicae, Medicae, BotanicaeLinnaeus, Carl Amoenitates
Academicae, seu Dissertationes variae
Physicae, Medicae, Botanicae antehac
seorsim editae, nunc collectae et auctae
cum tabulis aenis [by Petrus Camper].
Accedit:Hypothesis nova de Febrium
intermittentium causa.
1749). Soulsby no. 1279. [This edition,
the ”Camper edition”, of which only one
volume appeared, was published
independently and before the edition of

P.S. 2. He adds that a package of seeds from Oxford was sent to Linnaeus through Abraham SpaldingSpalding, Abraham (1712-1782).
Swedish. Merchant, London, in
partnership with Gustaf Brander.


a. original holograph (LS, XVII, 23-24). [1] [2] [3]


1. A selection (1821), vol. 1, p. 23-25   p.23  p.24  p.25.