Francis Aston

correspondent at the Royal Society
Death or Burial date: 
January 1, 1715

Secretary of the Royal Society from 1681-1685. Leeuwenhoek wrote five letters to him during that time. Two of them, Letter L-124 of 9 March 1683 and 26 October 1683, are known only by reference in other letters.

Aston became a member of the Royal Society in 1678 and served as its second secretary from 30 November 1681 until 9 December 1685, when he resigned due to lack of compensation. See the Remarks to his last letter to Leeuwenhoek, Letter L-159 of some time between 23 July and 22 October 1685. It was not until the Royal Society’s elections on 30 November 1682 that Robert Plot was elected secretary and editor of Philosophical Transactions that Aston to over from Robert Hooke as corresponding secretary.

Letter L-123 of 26 February 1683 is the first letter that Aston wrote to Leeuwenhoek. Starting with this letter and including Letter L-159 written between 23 July and 22 October 1685, he addressed 11 letters to Leeuwenhoek. Most of them were an acknowledgement of Leeuwenhoek’s previous letter. The manuscripts are lost but copies are available in the Royal Society archives of the present letter and three other letters: Letter L-125 of 27 March 1683, Letter L-140 of 11 October 1683, and Letter L-146 of 7 March 1684. The other seven letters are known only by reference in letters from Leeuwenhoek.

Leeuwenhoek replied with five letters, including Letter L-124 of 9 March 1683 and Letter L-143 of 26 October 1683. The next letter from Aston to L. is Letter L-125 of 27 March 1683