Pages tagged legacy

Leeuwenhoek Today

How is Leeuwenhoek remembered in the Netherlands today? Does he have any descendants? Is anything named after him?

Leeuwenhoek's Biographers

Antony van Leeuwenhoek has had four major biographers over the years: Boitet in 1729, Haaxman in 1875, Dobell in 1932, and Schierbeek in 1950 (Dutch) and 1959 (English).

Hooke: "A single votary, Mr. Leeuwenhoek"

In February 1692, when as it turns out Leeuwenhoek was not halfway through his long career, Robert Hooke delivered a lecture about the history and future of both the telescope and microscope. Much the same has been the Fate of microscopes, as to their Inventions, Improvements, Use, Neglect and Slighting, which are now reduced almost to a single votary, which is Mr. Leeuwenhoek;

Leeuwenhoek's Death

In the final year of his long life, Leeuwenhoek wrote five letters and had them all translated into Latin before he sent them. Other than the 1679 letter about human sperm and the letter of January 15, 1721, these were the only letters published in Latin in Philosophical Transactions. However, for the thirty years he self-published his collected letters, they were all translated into Latin, so he certainly had access to translators.

Leeuwenhoek's Wills

Leeuwenhoek's first wife, Barbara de Meij, died in 1666, and his second wife, Cornelia Swalmius, in 1694, so he lived the last thirty years of his life as a widower. All the wills (testamenten) that we know he made are listed on the timeline of wills and estates. He made a will with Barbara in 1662 and another after her death in 1667. He made a pre-nuptial agreement with Cornelia in 1671 (Roelandus van Edenburgh notary). He outlived both wives.

Oude Kerk memorial

In 1686, Leeuwenhoek bought two graves in the northwest section of the Oude Kerk. He was buried in one of them, but his body didn't stay there very long before it was moved.

The estate of Maria van Leeuwenhoek

Leeuwenhoek's daughter Maria was buried in the Oude Kerk on April 30, 1745. Two months later, on June 26, 1745, notaries Joris Geesteranus and Willem van der Lely made an inventory of Maria's possessions. They include her father's magnifying glasses and some of his tools and scientific instruments.

What happened to his microscopes?

Leeuwenhoek made at least 559 microscopic devices of five different types: 23 aquatic microscopes for viewing fish, eels, and oysters 172 aquatic lenses for the eel- and oyster-viewers 88 loupes 5 multiple-lens microscopes 271 single-lens microscopes, the type most commonly associated with him Of them, only ten single-lens microscopes have been authenticated.

What happened to his papers?

Did Leeuwenhoek leave any unpublished letters? Yes! Unfortunately, his papers are lost. His November 17, 1721, will states: