Herman Boerhaave

visitor and correspondent
Birth or Baptism date: 
December 31, 1686
Death or Burial date: 
September 23, 1738

This botanist, chemist, and physician was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1730. A professor at Leiden University, he visited Leeuwenhoek and corresponded with him.

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For physician and Leiden University professor Herman Boerhaave (1668-1738), see the Biog. Reg., Collected Letters, vol. 3, p. 473. The only other known letter from Boerhaave to L. is Letter L-541 of 10 October 1716, in this volume.

Leeuwenhoek wrote four letters to Boerhaave around the same time. In Letter L-540 [XXVIII] of 28 September 1716, he discussed how trees grow and withstand wind, especially the coconut palm. In Letter L-544 [XXIX] of 5 November 1716, he discussed the size and number of sperm in the epididymis of a ram as well as the number of sperm in the soft roe of a cod and a ling and microbes found in rain water and soil. He contended that there is no blood outside of blood vessels and heart.

In the final two letters, Letter L-546 [XXXI] of 27 November 1716, and Letter L-557 [XLI] of 26 August 1617, Leeuwenhoek reported on his continued investigation of the sperm and testicles of a ram. All of these letters are Send-Brieven (1718).