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Link: • Patrick Browne to Carl Linnaeus, 24 December 1756 n.s.
Dated 24. Decemb. 1756. Sent from London (Great Britain) to Uppsala (Sweden). Written in Latin.


Patrick BrowneBrowne, Patrick (1720-1790).
Irish. Botanist who made six voyages to
the West Indies. In 1756 he published
The Civil and natural history of
(1756). Correspondent of
has received two letters from Linnaeus [Linnaeus to Browne, 19 October 1756Letter L2101, the other letter has not come down to us] and thanks him for them.

Browne explains that all the characters he has made of plants are taken from living specimens or from collected ones, within 24 hours of picking, and with a magnifying glass. He has not seen herbaria or botanical gardens, but he was totally guided by Linnaeus’s Genera plantarumLinnaeus, Carl Genera
plantarum [...] Recudenda curavit Ch. C.
Strumpff [...] editio quarta
. If his specimen agreed or showed just minor variations, he accepted it; if there were major differences, he considered it to be a new species.

Linnaeus has made comments on several of Browne’s specimens, and Browne answers the comments carefully and is very straightforward. When Linnaeus had approved of Browne’s solution nothing more is said, but in about twenty cases, Linnaeus has a different attribution, which Browne sometimes accepts. More often, however, Browne gives his reasons for disagreeing with Linnaeus.

The final part of the letter discusses about twenty other plants which neither Browne nor Linnaeus is sure of. Browne gives a lot of additional information.

P.S. 1 Browne hopes that Linnaeus has become more used to his way of writing Latin, a language which Browne is not quite familiar with, so that he can understand his comments. However, he hopes to be able to find living specimens again in the West Indies, and he gives his address on the island of Sta Cruz.

P.S. 2 Browne has seen the bookseller MillanMIllan, British. Bookseller,
who has the specimens he collected for sale, and Linnaeus can have them for the agreed price of 5 guineas if he wants them. They will be reserved for Linnaeus for three months more. Linnaeus should send the payment to Georg Dionysius EhretEhret, Georg Dionysius
(1710-1770). German/British. Botanical
illustrator. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
who will deliver the specimens according to instructions from Linnaeus. Peter CollinsonCollinson, Peter (1694-1768).
British. Merchant and amateur naturalist
in London, corresponded with many
scientists. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
will take care of it.

P.S. 3 Browne is about to board a ship for Sta Cruz, which will leave in less than two weeks. He promises to send Linnaeus another copy of his book from there, commented with notes and corrections in the margins, especially on the more dubious species.


a. (LS, II, 196-197). [1] [2] [3]


1. Bref och skrifvelser (1916), vol. II:1, p. 346-349   p.346  p.347  p.348  p.349.