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Link: • Peter Collinson to Carl Linnaeus, 14 October 1748 n.s.
Dated Oct. 3, 1748, O.S.. Sent from London (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.
is glad to hear that Linnaeus is well and busy with his discoveries.

Collinson points out that clock-makers will be in trouble if he finds plants to act as clocks.

In addition, Linnaeus risks being spoiled as a gardener when he has become rich by breeding Oriental pearls.

Collinson has prepared a box with the final parts of Mark Catesby’sCatesby, Mark (1682-1749).
British. Naturalist and artist. Best
known for his illustrated work The
Natural history of Carolina, Florida and
the Bahama islands
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
work [Collinson refers to Catesby’s The Natural history of CarolinaCatesby, Mark The Natural
history of Carolina, Florida and the
Bahama Islands: containing the figures
of birds, beasts, fishes, serpents,
insects and plants: particularly the
forest-trees, shrubs, and other plants,
not hitherto described, or very
incorrectly figured by authors. Together
with their descriptions in English and
French. To which are added observations
on the air, soil, and wate: with remarks
upon agriculture, grain, pulse, roots,
&c. To the whole is prefixed a new
and correct map of the countries treated
, I-II (London 1731-1743).
], and left it with Tobias BjörkBjörk, Tobias (1704-1778).
Swedish. Clergyman. Minister of the
Swedish Church in London in 1735. In
1752 dean of Norrbärke, Dalecarlia.
together with a box from John MitchellMitchell, John (1711-1768).
British/American. Physician and
botanist. Born in Virginia. After
studies in medicine at the University of
Edinburgh he returned to Virginia as a
physician, but left America for London
in 1746. Famous for his map of eastern
North-America, known as the Mitchell
Map, first published in 1755.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
. The boxes are on board the ship Assurance, with its captain TornlandTornland, Swedish.
Sea-captain on the ship Assurance.
. They are consigned to Claes GrillGrill, Claes (1705-1767).
Swedish. Merchant, owner of the iron
works of Söderfors, Österby
and Iggesund. Director of the Swedish
East India Company. Also known as an art
collector and patron of arts and
sciences. Brother of Anthoni Grill and
Johan Abraham Grill. Correspondent of
. The ship will sail for Stockholm in a few days.

Collinson has raised several nice plants from seeds received from Linnaeus, and he thanks Linnaeus for them.

Hans SloaneSloane, Hans (1660-1753).
British. Physician, naturalist and
collector. Secretary of the Royal
Society in 1693, president in 1727.
Sloane’s collections of natural history
objects were donated to the English
nation and were one of cornerstones of
the British Museum (1759). Correspondent
of Linnaeus.
is well at the age of 88 and a half, and reviews his large collection every day.

Collinson is glad the Napaea is in flower.

Collinson thinks Linnaeus’s experiments with food for animals are useful, but he reminds Linnaeus that hunger will bring animals to eat anything. A neighbour of his had observed that his hogs did not eat horse chestnuts until they starved, but when they started eating them, they grew very fat. Normally, horse chestnuts are too bitter for some animals, but deer eat them. Collinson wonders if the horse chestnut tree grows in Sweden.

A fine work about insects is being published in England [Collinson refers most certainly to James Dutfield’sDutfield, James British. , A new and complete Natural History of English Moths and ButterfliesDutfield, James A new and
complete Natural History of English
Moths and Butterflies
]. The price is five shillings for four plates. A hundred species with the newest information about them have been published already. This work should interest Charles de GeerDe Geer, Charles (1720-1778).
Swedish. Entomologist and natural
history collector, Leufsta Bruk. Member
of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
in Stockholm and Académie des
sciences, Paris. Corresponded with
Réaumur, Bonnet and other
naturalists. Husband of Catharina
Charlotta Ribbing and father of Emanuel
De Geer. Correspondent of Linnaeus.

Summer has been fine, and all sorts of fruit and grain have come in plenty. It is still so warm that you do not need to make fires, orange-trees are still outdoors, and the vineyard is ripening. There will be a lot of wine produced in England this year.

There has not been one frosty morning this autumn. Marvel of Peru, double-flowered Nasturtium and other annual plants are untouched, so the garden looks very beautiful.

Collinson finished with his usual well-wishes.


a. (LS, XVII, 17).


1. A selection (1821), vol. 1, p. 21-23   p.21  p.22  p.23.