Leeuwenhoek’s Tomb, Part II

Leeuwenhoek's tomb
Leeuwenhoek

On the floor, at the foot of  the wall tower memorial, we can find the stone which covers the tomb. On it is inscribed:

HIER RUST
ANTHONY VAN LEEWENHOEK,
OUTSTE LIT VAN DE KOONINCKLIJKE SOSYTEYT IN LONDE,
GEBOOREN BINNEN DE STADT DELFT OP DEN 24STEN OCTOBER 1632,
EN OVERLEEDEN OP DEN 26STEN AUGUSTY 1723,
OUT SYNDE 90 JAAR, 10 MAANDE EN 2 DAGEN

Here lies Anthony van Leewenhoek, oldest Fellow of the Royal Society in London, born in the town of Delft on the 24th of October 1632, and deceased on the 26th of August 1723, being aged 90 years, 10 months, and 2 days.

Below that, a short poem, composed by Hubert Poot ( 1689-1733)

HEEFT ELK, O WANDELAER, ALOM
ONTZAGH VOOR HOOGEN OUDERDOM
EN WONDERBARE GAVEN,
SOO SET EERBIEDIGH HIER UW’ STAP:
HIER LEGT DE GRYSE WEETENSCHAP
IN LEEWENHOEK BEGRAVEN.

Since everyone, O traveller,
Great age respects, everywhere,
And gifts of wondrous merit:
So here all reverently tread,
Where Science old and gray of head
In LEEWENHOEK lies buried.

Below the engraved image is the inscription for his daughter, Maria van Leeuwenhoek, who is also buried there and who provided for the memorial for her father.

(Translations adapted from Antony van Leeuwenhoek and His “Little Animals”: Being Some Account of the Father of Protozoology and Bacteriology and His Multifarious Discoveries in These Disciplines, by Clifford Dobell; Harcourt, Brace, 1922.)

One thought on “Leeuwenhoek’s Tomb, Part II

  1. We all owe homage to this remarkable man, an amateur scientist in the best sense of those words – someone who for love alone seeks to discover the truths of nature by direct observation. What science is buried with Leeuwenhoek is only what he refused to reveal to anyone. Let us not be bound by similar reservations, but follow in the footsteps of his undying curiosity.

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