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Link: • Bengt Ferrner to Carl Linnaeus, 12 May 1759 n.s.
Dated 12 Maij 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 5 April 1759 [this letter has not come down to us], that arrived a couple of days earlier. Ferrner is most grateful for the news as well as for the letter to Arnout VoesmaerVosmaer, Arnout (1720-1799).
Dutch. Director of the cabinet of
natural history of the prince of Orange
at the Hague. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
, from whom Ferrner has now received a letter to be sent in return. Johannes BurmanBurman, Johannes (1707-1779).
Dutch. Botanist, professor of medicine
in Amsterdam. Close friend of Linnaeus.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
had shown Ferrner considerable hospitality, for which Ferrner is most grateful to Linnaeus. Burman had probably already written to Linnaeus [Burman to Linnaeus, 17 April 1759Letter L2530] telling him that some weeks ago he lost his wife after a long illness. His only son, Nicolaas Laurens BurmanBurman, Nicolaas Laurens
(1734-1793). Dutch. Professor of
botany. Linnaeusís pupil in Uppsala in
1760. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
will become a medical doctor in the summer. As yet, Ferrner had not been to Leiden, but long ago he sent the book [Ferrner means presumably Specimen botanicum de geraniisBurman, Nicolaas Laurens
Specimen botanicum de geraniis
(Leiden 1759).
] to Johan Frederik GronoviusGronovius, Johan Frederik
(1690-1762). Dutch. Naturalist, senator
of Leiden. Linnaeusís benefactor and
friend. Published Flora Virginica
(1743, 1762) together with John Clayton.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
and Laurens Theodor GronoviusGronovius, Laurens Theodor
(1730-1777). Dutch. Naturalist. Senator
of Leiden. Son of Johan Frederik
Gronovius. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
, and had also written to them.

Ferrner had visited Utrecht in order to become acquainted with the professors there and to look at the University. There were much fewer students than Ferrner could imagine, hardly more than 150. At public lectures there were 2, 3 and maximally 6 listeners. Many of the professors never hold public lectures owing to this lack of attendance. Ferrner thought that it was remarkable that, of the 16 professors, 10 were foreigners and also the best.

Ferrner made the acquaintance of Petrus WesselingWesseling, Petrus (1692-1764).
Dutch. Philologist, professor, Utrecht.
, Johann David HahnHahn, Johann David (1729-1784).
Dutch. Professor of philosophy, physics
and astronomy, botany and chemistry,
Utrecht. Professor of medicine, Leiden.
, Giovanni Francesco Mauro Melch CastillonCastillon, Giovanni Francesco Mauro
Melchior Salvemini di Castiglione, dit
Jean de
(1708-1791). Italian.
Professor of mathematics and astronomy,
Utrecht. Professor of mathematics in
Berlin in 1764.
, Christopher SaxeSaxe, Christopher (1714-1806).
. Professor of archeology and
literature, Utrecht.
and Burman; the first four were said to be the most important. Of the others, Ferrner only saw them and heard them read. The professors he mentioned were all kind and respectful towards Ferrner. Hahn was experimental physicist and Professor of Botany; a man of only 30 years. Ferrner already knew that Hahn was a capable mathematician and also had the reputation of being skilled in botany. He recently had been appointed to the chair of botany after Everard Jacob van WachendorffWachendorff, Everard Jacob van
(1702-1758). Dutch. Physician and
botanist. Studied in Leiden and Utrecht.
Professor of medicine, chemistry and
botany at Utrecht. Correspondent of
, who died. Hahn asked Ferrner to pass his respects to Linnaeus and that as soon as possible he would write to Linnaeus asking for his friendship and correspondence. At the same time Hahn would also mention a number of plants that had recently arrived in Holland from the Indies.

Ferrner reported that the Utrecht Botanical Garden was in fairly good shape but by no means could be compared with Linnaeusís garden in Uppsala. Ferrner noted that as Linnaeus had himself visited Utrecht there was no need to describe the Observatory, the Library or more about the University.

Ferrner was well acquainted with Linnaeusís correspondent in Amsterdam, Johann Albert SchlosserSchlosser, Johann Albert
(?-1769). Dutch. Doctor of medicine,
naturalist, collector of natural history
objects. After his death a number of the
specimens in his collections were
described by Pieter Boddaert.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
, who appeared to be a skilled person. At least, he had a beautiful library and could speak with authority on the subject of botany.

In about 14 days Ferrner would leave for England but if Linnaeus would do him the honour of writing a letter, the address was still c/o Johan Abraham GrillGrill, Johan Abraham
(1719-1799). Swedish. Merchant,
Stockholm. Brother of Anthoni Grill and
Claes Grill.
in Amsterdam.


a. (LS, IV, 167-168). [1] [2] [3]


1. Bref och skrifvelser (1912), vol. I:6, p. 85-87   p.85  p.86  p.87.