Robert Hooke wrote Letter L-345 of 1698-06-09 to Leeuwenhoek recent letters and sending copies of Leeuwenhoek’s missing numbers of Philosophical Transactions; he encourages Leeuwenhoek’s continuing research

June 9, 1698

No manuscript is known. The date is New Style, which was ten days ahead of the Old Style date of 30 May used by Hooke in London.

This is the last known letter of Hooke to Leeuwenhoek, who made no known response to it, which indicates another lost letter. Hooke’s previous letter, sixteen years earlier, is Letter L-118 of 26 March 1682. Leeuwenhoek responded to that letter with Letter L-119 of 4 April 1682 about the muscles of lobsters and shrimp and the lost Letter L-120 of 28 July 1682. After that, the Society’s other secretary, Francis Aston, took responsibility for corresponding with L. See the Remarks to Letter L-123 of 26 February 1683 from Aston to Leeuwenhoek, in this volume

In this letter, Hooke discusses L.’s recent letters and sending copies of L.’s missing numbers of Philosophical Transactions. He encourages L.’s continuing research.


An unsigned copy is to be found in London, Royal Society, Letter Book Original 11B.114, p. 268, 1 p. Copied and pasted from Collected Letters, vol. 20, "this volume" in the footnotes.

London May 30, 1698


            The Royal Society have commanded me to thank you for your letter by Dr. Harwood[1] and that wherein you describe the eyes of beetles etc[2]. They have ordered me to send you the Transactions you want[3] this very day which are sent you by Mr. Pisolas, a member of the Society[4] now going to the Hague, who will take care to convey them to you. They are extremely pleased to hear from you and give credit to what you are pleased to impart unto them. They wish you may go on in your searches in several subjects, and pray your favour in communicating to them what you find extraordinary.



[1] For Harwood’s letter to L, see Letter L-321 of 17 May 1697, in this volume. For John Harwood (1661–1731), see the Biog. Reg., Collected Letters, vol. 12. p. 405.

[2] Letter 193 [111] L-343 of 9 May 1698, Collected Letters, vol. 12. It begins, “My last most obedient letter was that of the 10th of September of last year, which I remitted to Doctor Harwood, fellow-Member of the Royal Society.”

[3] In a postscript to Letter 188 [110] L-329 of 10 September 1697, Collected Letters, vol. 12, L. writes, “Doctor Harwood has requested me to commit to paper what Philosophical Transactions have not been sent to me for the past few years. I therefore take the liberty to inform Your Honour that the Transactions Nos 186 to 195 inclusive and Nos 208 to 219 inclusive have not been sent to me.”

[4] Not identified. No one by the name Pisolas is on the list of past fellows of the Royal Society.