Letter 2179

Henry Barham Sr. to Hans Sloane – October 21, 1717

Item info

Date: October 21, 1717
Author: Henry Barham Sr.
Recipient: Hans Sloane

Library: British Library, London
Manuscript: Sloane MS 4045
Folio: f. 55

Original Page


[fol. 55] Worthy Sr if there be any thing in the Catalogue Worth your Acceptance Pray make your Choice I Wish I had any thing of more Value. to present you with all: for I think No Curiosity [word erased] ought to be hid or withheld from one that is so Curious and Exqu=isite after the Search of Natural things, Especially by me who hath Received so many Signal Favours and now give me leave to take a little Fredom in Acquai=nting you with a little of my Juvinal Transactions for to make my self to you, better than I was or am Now; would be a Just Reason to have but an Indifferent Opinion of me Hereafter: I think I once told you that my Father Was a Physician: and it Pleased Go to take Him away (who was always designed to give me Univers=ity Education) before I was fiveteen years of age my mother unfortunately Married in a short time after, who was soon Renderd by it, incapable to Perform that wch shee well knew was my Fathers earnest desire: This misfortune Obliged me to goe under the Care of A Surgeon and after sometime spent in the Practice and Experience in that I was sent as A mate to a Surgeon in the Vangard a 2d Rate man of Warr: I was not Long there: before I was made a master Surgeon (after many strickt Examinations) of one of His Majestys Shipps of Warr: it was not long before I quitted that Post and Went into Spain: from thence to Madras and from thence to Jamaica: where I Red many Books especially Physicall my bones being always inclined that Way: and had my share in Practice many years with Good Success: and after Some years the Goverment [sic] thought fitt to make me Surgeon Major over all the Regiments of Horse and foot threwout ye Island Giveing me A Commission and Power to Putt in what Surgeons I thought fitt and Qualifyed to Serve in any of the Regiments and to give them Warrents for the Same: and now Since I am come to England The Company of Surgeons have made me First of their Company and Obliged me to take a Govend [?]: wch I hope Will not Impede or Obstruct my admittance of a Lycence for I should be Proud to be one of the meanest of that Honourable and Learned Society of Physicians: This is a Short Narative of my Curcumstances wch I freely Impart to you as not only as a friend but as a Father to advise me: (because you mentioned something of Oxford as if you understood I was Educated there) I hope you Pardon the Fredom I have made up of wch you Lay A Perpetual Injunction and Obligation Upon mee to serve you to the utmost of my mean Capacity being always your Humble Servant to Command Henry Barham October 21: 1717 Great Carter Lane if you Please to Lett me know when I shall Wait on you I will give my Attendance

Henry Barham (1670?-1726) was a botanist. He lived in Jamaica and corresponded with Sloane on the plant and animal life of the island. Parts of Barham’s letters to Sloane appeared in the latter’s Natural History of Jamaica (T. F. Henderson, Barham, Henry (1670?1726), rev. Anita McConnell, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/1374, accessed 13 June 2011]).

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