John Chamberlayne als Vertaler van Antoni van Leeuwenhoek

Vermij, R. H. and L. C. Palm
15, 234-242


In the history of intellectual relations, which is an important aspect of the history of science, the work of the Dutch microscopist Antoni van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723) offers a special case. His discoveries were laid down in letters to the Royal Society in London. Because these letters had been written in his own Dutch vernacular, translation of them was essential. John Chamberlayne (1666-1723) undertook these translations from 1702 until 1723. In the present article Chamberlayne's problems with Leeuwenhoek's language are discussed and his contacts with the editors of the Philosophical Transactions, Hans Sloane and Edmond Halley. From the vicissitudes of Chamberlayne's relations with the editors it is concluded that the personal interest of the editor was the decisive factor for publication of the translations of Leeuwenhoek's work in the society's journal.