Over the next few days I will present some of the Royal Society’s notes as they pertain to Leeuwenhoek. The first concerns his legacy to the Royal Society as found in this volume:
An Account of Mr. Leeuwenhoek’s Microscopes, by Mr. Folkes, V.P.
This curious and valuable Legacy left by the last Will andTestament of the late Mr. Leeuwenhoek to the Royal Society, consists Of a small Indian Cabinet, in the Drawers of which are 13 little
Boxes or Cases, each containing two Microscopes, handsomely fitted up in Silver, all which, not only the Glasses, but also the Apparatus for managing of them, were made with the late Mr. Leeuwenhoek’s own Hands : Besides which, they seem to have been ‘put in Order in the Cabinet by himself, as he design’d them tobe presented to- the Royal Society, each Microscope having had an Object, placed before it, and the Whole being accompany’d with a Register of the same, in his own Hand-Writing, as being desirous the gentlemen of the Society mould, without Trouble, be enabled to examine many of those Objects, on which he had made the most considerable Discoveries.
Several of these Objects yet remain before the Microscopes, tho’ The greater Number are broken off, which was probably done by the shaking of the Boxes in the Carriage. I have, nevertheless, added a Translation of the Register, as it may serve to give a juster Idea of what Mr. Leeuwenhoek design’d by this Legacy, and also be of Use, by putting any curious Observer in Mind of a Number of Minute Subjects, that may in a particular Manner deserve his Attention.”