Letter 0491

Samuel Dale to Hans Sloane – March 9, 1698

Item info

Date: March 9, 1698
Author: Samuel Dale
Recipient: Hans Sloane

Library: British Library, London
Manuscript: Sloane MS 4037
Folio: f. 37

Original Page


Dale requests Sloane’s help in augmenting his Pharmacologia, after one Mr Smith professed his interest in reviewing it. Dale believes that no one could be as helpful as Sloane. He asks Sloane for an account of all relevant books that he might get Mr Smith to procure or, failing that, loan from his own library. Dale provides an extensive and specific list of the plants he will examine, which includes: ‘roots of camumar and seraping or salep, herbs of berigua & cassiny, malabas nut, bengala bean, berumdus berries, Russia & Mexico seeds & alumback wood and serpentine stones, molucca nuts, radix hiusig Ipepocoauha, Angula seeds, Virginiam nuts, maldira nut, Banella, lig. nephritium., Barbadoes seeds, and Blatto Bizantina. Interested in virtues: sago (omitted in first version). Also: cantharides to caroes’. Dale includes a short account of a large ‘Maldon’ eel caught by a fisherman. Samuel Dale was an apothecary, botanist, and physician who contributed several articles to the Philosophical Transactions. He was John Ray’s executor and good friend, and from Dale’s letters to Sloane we learn many details of Ray’s final moments (G. S. Boulger, Dale, Samuel (bap. 1659, d. 1739), rev. Juanita Burnby, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/7016, accessed 5 July 2013]).

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