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Link: • John Balfour to Carl Linnaeus, 5 July 1762 n.s.
Dated July 5th 1752. Sent from Edinburgh (Great Britain) to Uppsala (Sweden). Written in English.

Edin[burgh] July 5th 1762.


The Study of Botany has become very general in this City, and your books in great Reputation, being much recommended by our new Professor D[octor] John Hope. We have often found difficulty in getting them from Holland, & they have always been chargd to as at a high price. Tho we have not the pleasure of being known to you yet we flatter ourselves you will be so good as to excuse the freedom we use in applying to you for direction, in what manner we can get your books and at the easiest rate. We hope your inclination to indulge the lovers of this Science, will prevent upon you to take this trouble. We have marked out a list on the other side of such of your books as we woud incline to have, and if you will be so good as to give directions, to the Bookseller who sells them, to put them up in a bale & send them either to Hamburgh, or Gottenbourg, & order his Correspondent there to put them on board of the first ship for Leith, addressd to us, we will immediatly pay his draught for the amount, so soon as we have receivd the Invoyce & bill of loading. It will be very oblidgeing if in course you will give an answer to this, because, if we cannot be provided thro your means, we must apply some where else, for we must take care to provide in this time for our Clases. We are with very great Respect

Your most Humble Serv[an]ts
John Balfour Co.

Our address is:
To Gavin Hamilton & John Balfour
Booksellers in Edinburgh, Scotland.

25 Linnaei Genera Plantarum

25 Linnaei Systema Naturae vol. 2d

25 Do vol. 3d if publishd

6 Do Vol. 1st

12 Linnaei Philosophia Botanica

12 Linnaei Species Plantarum 2 Vol.

3 Linnaei Amoenitates Academicae 5 Vols. also vol. 6th if publishd

6 Linnaei Flora Suecica new Edit.

6 Linnaei Materia medica new Edit.

4 Linnaei Fauna Suecica

We woud chuse likewise to have two three Copys of any other book publishd either by your self, or such as you recommend, & we flatter our selves that the Bookseller will be very reasonable in his prices, as we are to pay ready money, and it may be an introduction to fu[rther] Correspondence.

J[ohn] B[alfour]

A Monsieur
Monsieur Linnaeus Chevalier de l’Etoile
polaire, Medicin ordinaire au Roy du
en Suede


Acting as a bookseller in Edinburgh, John BalfourBalfour, John British.
Publishers in Edinburgh. Correspondent
of Linnaeus.
approaches Linnaeus with a request for a stock of several of his publications. The reason is that John HopeHope, John (1725-1786).
British. Doctor of medicine, professor
of botany, Edinburgh. Correspondent of
, recently appointed professor in Edinburgh, has recommended them, and it had proved both difficult and expensive to get these books through the Dutch book market.

A list of the books and detailed information on the best way of transporting them are given, and Balfour promises to pay for the books and for all transport costs.

The letter ends with an urgent request for an answer, since Balfour will have to find other means if Linnaeus cannot oblige.


a. (LS, I, 291-292). [1] [2] [3]