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Link: • Bengt Ferrner to Carl Linnaeus, 12 March 1759 n.s.
Dated 12 Martii 1759. Sent from Amsterdam (Netherlands) to Uppsala (Sweden). Written in Swedish.


Bengt FerrnerFerrner, Bengt (1724-1802).
Swedish. Astronomer at Uppsala
University. Tutor of crown prince Gustav
of Sweden. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
thanks Linnaeus for his letter of 16 January [this letter has not come down to us] that he received in Hamburg a couple of days before his departure. Ferrner is pleased to be able to tell Linnaeus that he has found a young correspondent in Johann Albert Heinrich ReimarusReimarus, Johann Albert Heinrich
(1729-1814). German. Physician and
naturalist, Hamburg. Son of Herman
Samuel Reimarus.
. Reimarus was a medical doctor and recently returned from journeys in Holland, England and France. His father Hermann Samuel ReimarReimarus, Hermann Samuel
(1694-1768). German. Professor of
Hebrew and oriental languages, Hamburg.
Author of works in natural history.
has published Allgemeine Betrachtungen ¸ber die Triebe der ThiereReimarus, Hermann Samuel
Allgemeine Betrachtungen über
die Triebe der Thiere,
hauptsächlich über ihre
([Hamburgh] 1760).
, in which he has obtained a lot of information from Linnaeus. The address to the above-mentioned doctor was: Mr Reimarus, Docteur en Medicine à Hamburg. Soon after Ferrner had arrived in Amsterdam he had visited Johannes BurmanBurman, Johannes (1707-1779).
Dutch. Botanist, professor of medicine
in Amsterdam. Close friend of Linnaeus.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
in order to give him the book Linnaeus had enclosed, together with Linnaeusís greetings. Ferrner was able to deliver the book but had been unable to meet Burman until the previous day; being shown great civility and, having received a letter from Linnaeus, Burman was able to tell Ferrner that not only Linnaeus was well but also that Carl Linnaeus the YoungerLinnaeus the Younger, Carl
(1741-1783). Swedish. Botanist. Son of
Carl Linnaeus and Sara Elisabet Linnaea.
Brother of Elisabeth Christina, Louisa,
Sara Christina and Sophia Linnaea.
Attended his father’s lectures, had
private tutors (Löfling, Rolander,
Solander and Falk, all Linnaeus’s
students). Demonstrator of botany at
Uppsala. Succeeded his
was now assisting Linnaeus as botanical demonstrator in Uppsala. His advancement was of great interest to Ferrner and he wished with all his heart that he would be able to follow in his father`s footsteps.

While at the Princess Stateholders funeral in The Haag during the previous month, Ferrner was able to visit the Prince’s collections of naturalia, which was very large and in good condition. However, Ferrner reports that the only portrait present was that of Linnaeus, and that the animals and plants were arranged in accordance with Linnaeusís system, the most recent edition of which [Ferrner refers to Systema naturae, 10th editionLinnaeus, Carl Systema
, 10th edition (Stockholm
1758-1759). Soulsby no. 58.
] was on the table. The name of the director of the cabinet was Arnout VoesmaerVosmaer, Arnout (1720-1799).
Dutch. Director of the cabinet of
natural history of the prince of Orange
at the Hague. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
, who had collected and sold it to the recently deceased Princess for 30 000 guilders, as it had 12 000 objects; but now it had been expanded with 8000 additional ones. Ferrner saw two small shells that were said to have cost 600 guilders. Voesmaer asked Ferrner to arrange a correspondence for him with Linnaeus, which Ferrner promised. Ferrner reports that he saw numerous birds and fishes that appeared to be unknown in natural history. Voesmaer understands Latin but cannot write it, preferring to use French or Dutch. If Linnaeus would do Ferrner the favour of sending Voesmaer a letter or an invitation to relate the new knowledge he knows, then Ferrner would be most grateful.

The previous evening Ferrner had visited Jean CliffordClifford, Jean Dutch. Son of
George Clifford, brother of Henry and
Petrus Clifford.
, the oldest son still alive; he respectfully enquired about Linnaeus but his wife appeared to be dissatisfied with the way Linnaeus had acquired a gardener (Diedrich NietzelNietzel, Diedrich (1703-1756).
German. George Clifford’s gardener at
Hartecamp. Became university gardener at
Uppsala, where he died. Correspondent
of Linnaeus.
) from her in-laws to work in Sweden. Ferrner took this in the best way he could, finally managing to placate her somewhat. They were surprised to hear that Linnaeus had such an old son who was capable of working as botanical demonstrator.

P.S. 1. Ferrner mentions that if Linnaeus had anything to give him in commission the correct address would be c/o Johan Abraham GrillGrill, Johan Abraham
(1719-1799). Swedish. Merchant,
Stockholm. Brother of Anthoni Grill and
Claes Grill.
, Amsterdam.

P.S. 2. He had been invited to dinner by Burman to look at his botanical garden [Amsterdam Botanical Garden].

P.S. 3. Burman had visited him and had asked Ferrner to convey his greetings to Linnaeus.

P.S. 4 Ferrner mentions that the portrait of Linnaeus in the Princeís collection was unlike Linnaeus. Voesmaer had also said that he had wanted to replace it if he could find one that had a better likeness. Ferrner recalls that there was a small etching that was a good likeness and asks Linnaeus if he could donate it, thereby giving Voesmaer great pleasure as well as do a favour for Ferrner.


a. (LS, IV, 166). [1] [2] [3]


1. Bref och skrifvelser (1912), vol. I:6, p. 83-85   p.83  p.84  p.85.