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Link: • Peter Collinson to Carl Linnaeus, 25 December 1757 n.s.
Dated Decemr 25:1757. Sent from Mill Hill (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.
had some time ago received a magnificent book without any information about whom he was to thank for it. Since it describes the natural museum of the King of Sweden [Adolf FredrikAdolf Fredrik, (1710-1771).
Swedish. King of Sweden. Reigned
1751-1771. Married to Lovisa Ulrika.
Father of Gustav III. Chancellor of
Uppsala university 1747-1751.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
], Collinson concluded Linnaeus must be the sender [Collinson refers to Museum S:ae R:ae M:tis Adolphi Friderici RegisLinnaeus, Carl Museum S:ae
R:ae M:tis Adolphi Friderici Regis
Suecorum [...] in quo animalia rariora
imprimis et exotica: quadrupedia, aves,
amphibia, pisces, insecta, vermes
describuntur et determinantur, Latine et
Suetice cum iconibus
]. Collinson thinks the work does Linnaeus and Sweden great honour. The engravings are fine, and the descriptions show great knowledge. All who have seen it admire it.

George EdwardsEdwards, George (1693-1773).
British. Ornithologist and artist.
Visited the Netherlands, France and
Scandinavia. Best known for his
History of birds (1747-1751).
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
has finished the fifth volume of his work about new and rare birds and beasts [Collinson refers most certainly to Gleanings of natural historyEdwards, George Gleanings of
natural history, exhibiting figures of
quadrupeds, birds, insects, plants
3 vol. ( London, 1758-1764).
, published in three volumes in 1758, where vol. 3 might also be regarded as vol. 5 to Edwards’s A natural history of uncommon birdsEdwards, George A natural
history of uncommon birds, and of some
other rare and undescribed animals
[...]. To which is added a [... ]general
idea of drawing and painting in water
colours; with instructions for etching
on copper with Aqua Fortis: likewise
some thoughts on the passage of
etc., 4 pt., 4 vols. (London,

John EllisEllis, John (1711-1776).
British. Merchant and naturalist, expert
on zoophytes. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
continues to add illustrations to his work about corals and corallines to prove that they are the work of polyps [Collinson refers to An essay towards a natural history of the corallinesEllis, John An essay towards
a natural history of the corallines, and
other marine productions of the like
kind, commonly found on the coasts of
Great Britain and Ireland. To which is
added the description of a large marine
polype taken near the North Pole, by the
Whale-fishers, in the summer 1753

(London 1755).
]. Collinson is sending Linnaeus a copy but he does not know if Linnaeus ever received a first set that Collinson had sent him last May through Gustaf BranderBrander, Gustaf (1720-1787).
Swedish. Merchant in London. Partner of
Abraham Spalding in the firm Spalding
& Brander. Curator of the British
Museum. Friend of John Ellis.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.

It has been very hot this summer in England, so all sorts of fruits have ripened to perfection

Collinson has seen pomegranates against south walls ripened without any extra care, exceeding what can be expected so far north. The fruits are as big as those that are brought in from abroad.

Also autumn has been long, dry and warm, and there has been no frost. On Christmas Day, they have four kinds of aster, Virga aurea and plenty of Leucojum autumnale, chrysanthemums, etc flowering.

The winter scene is continued by spring, and Collinson mentions ten kinds of common spring flowers that can be seen already.

Linnaeus would have been delighted and surprised at the large bunches of flowers gathered from the open garden on December 27, 1757.

Collinson wishes Linnaeus a healthy and happy New Year.

P.S. Collinson reports that John ClaytonClayton, John (1685-1773).
British/American. Physician and
botanist. Born i England, moved to
Virginia in North America in 1715. His
herbarium collected in Virginia was
published by Johan Frederik Gronovius
and Linnaeus in Flora Virginica
(1739, 1743). Correspondent of Linnaeus.
had told him in a letter from Virginia, dated September 7, that he had finished a new edition of Flora Virginica. However, there is no information as to when or where it is to be published [The first edition of Flora VirginicaGronovius, Johan Frederik
Flora Virginica, exhibens plantas
quas v.c. Johannes Clayton in Virginia
observavit atque collegit. Easdem
methodo sexuali disposuit, ad genera
propria retulit, nominibus specificis
insignavit, & minus cognitas
descripsit J. F. Gronovius
, I-II
(Leiden 1739-1743).
was published by Johan Friedrich GronoviusGronovius, Johan Frederik
(1690-1762). Dutch. Naturalist, senator
of Leiden. Linnaeus’s benefactor and
friend. Published Flora Virginica
(1743, 1762) together with John Clayton.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
in 1739, and as the revised edition was not published until 1762, Flora Virginica, ed. L.T. GronoviusGronovius, Johan Frederik
Flora Virginica exhibens plantas /
quas [...] D.D. Johannes Claytonus in
Virginia crescentes observavit, collegit
et obtulit D. Joh. Fred. Gronovio, cujus
studio & opera descriptae & in
ordinem sexualem systematicum redactae
, ed. by L.T. Gronovius
(Leiden, 1762).
, Clayton prepared this manuscript of his own, which he sent to Collinson in 1758. It was, however, never published].


a. original holograph (LS, XVII, 56-57). [1] [2] [3]


1. A selection (1821), vol. 1, p. 41-42   p.41  p.42.
2. “Forget not Mee & My Garden ...” (2002), p. 209-210 .