Miguel BarnadesBarnades, Miguel (?-1771).
Spanish. Botanist. Personal physician of
Carlos III, Madrid. Correspondent of
Linnaeus. thanks Linnaeus for a letter [this letter has not come down to us] received in reply to the letter written in 1756 [Barnades to Linnaeus, 14 August 1756Letter L2080]. He had planned to write much earlier, but he had lost his earlier position and been forced to set up a practice as a doctor in Madrid and had neither the time nor the means to pursue his botanical studies. However, his situation had improved again, and he had taken this opportunity, offered by the Countess Sparre [Sophia Lovisa HildebrandHildebrand, Sophia Lovisa
Swedish. Wife of Henric Jacob
Hildebrand. Born Sparre af
Söfdeberg. ], to try to address the two issues that Linnaeus had proposed.
The first was a flora of the Madrid region. Barnades is rather pessimistic, since the arid and sandy landscape around Madrid is very dissimilar to the Catalan region where he was born and where he had learnt botany from François Boissier de La Croix SauvagesSauvages, François Boissier de
La Croix de (1706-1767). French.
Botanist and clergyman and physician,
professor in medicine at Montpellier.
Correspondent of Linnaeus. and been in contact with Pehr LöflingLöfling, Pehr (1729-1756).
Swedish. Botanist and explorer. Studied
under Linnaeus. Went to Spain in 1751
and took part in the Spanish expedition
to Venezuela in 1754, where he died.
Correspondent of Linnaeus. . In addition, the natural flora had been very much damaged by cultivation and by cattle. However, after six years, Barnades had managed to collect about 600 species, 200 of which could be called rare, and Barnades had done what he could to preserve them in dried specimens, drawings and other documentation. It had been a difficult job to collect seeds and grow them in the garden to obtain specimens that could be used for study.
Barnades has sent some of these to Linnaeus through his friend Daniel Zacharias HallmanHallman, Daniel Zacharias
(1722-1782). Swedish. Clergyman. Pastor
at the Swedish legation in Madrid, dean
at Strängnäs. Linnaeusís
student in 1744-1746. Correspondent of
Linnaeus. , and he hopes to receive feedback and comments from Linnaeus on them. He also promises to send additional material to Linnaeus on his request.
The second issue was on birds. Linnaeus seemed to think that Barnades was an expert on birds, so he had asked about several species. Barnades now reports that those were quite unknown to him. He also had asked hunters and bird-catchers about them but without result.
However, Barnades sends Linnaeus a list of other interesting birds, observed by him around Madrid. He cannot send him more this time, in order not to make the letter too heavy, but he is ready to send Linnaeus descriptions of these in a subsequent letter.