Francis Wollaston (1694-1774), scientist and Fellow of the Royal Society, father of the author and astronomer Francis Wollaston (1731-1815)
[ His Majesty's Receipt of Exchequer, London. ] 22 July 1765.
1p., 8vo. Removed from an Exchequer ledger. On aged paper, with particular wear to one edge. Laid out in the usual way, with printed text completed in manuscript. Good firm signature. Recording a payment of £150, on an annuity of £300 per annum, 'during the Life of [Mary, Francis & George Wollaston]' (his three surviving children, two others having died). Signed at the foot of the page, with the signature of the witness 'W Wright' beside it. In manuscipt on reverse: 'Paid 31 July 1765 | £1636 : 2 : 6'.
Jean Izoulet [ La Revue Bleue, Paris; Collège de France, Cours de Philosophie Sociale; Social Science in France ]
Paris: Armand Colin et Cie, Éditeurs, 5, Rue de Mézières, 5. 1898. [ 'Extrait der la Revue Bleue du 8 janvier 1898.' ]
31pp., 8vo. Disbound pamphlet. In green printed wraps. In fair condition, on aged high-acidity paper, in worn wraps, with a few notes in light pencil. The title-page is headed: 'Collège de France | Cours de Philosophie Sociale | Leçon d'Ouverture | (16 décembre 1897)'. On p.6 Izoulet writes: 'cette leçon d'ouverture a pour but d'expliquer l'origine et le titre de la nouvelle chaire, la nature et l'esprit du nouveau cours'. Now scarce.
C. William Siemens [ Sir Charles William Siemens; Carl Wilhelm Siemens ] (1823-1883), German-born British engineer and businessman
[ London: Printed by Spottiswoode and Co., New-street Square and Parliament Street. ] [ 1882 ]
33pp., 8vo. Unbound stitched pamphlet. On aged and chipped paper. Apparently lacking covers, on which publication details would have been written. Inscribed at head of first page: 'Mr Stone | from the Author.' Siemens begins by mourning the passing of Charles Darwin "whose bold conceptions, patient labour, and genial mind made him almost a type of unsurpassed excellence". Five copies on OCLC WorldCat. No copy at the British Library.
Sir Alexander Fleming (1881-1955), Scottish biologist and pharmacologist, discoverer of penicillin and co-winner of the Nobel Prize for physiology and medicine in 1945
31 October 1953; on letterhead of 20A Danvers Street, Cheyne Walk, London, S.W.3.
8vo: 1 p. Good, laid down on the reverse of the front free endpaper of a copy of Andre Maurois's 'The Life of Sir Alexander Fleming' (London, 2nd imp., 1959). Reads 'Thank you very much. We would be delighted to be with you on Nov 12th. I think all is well with me now & I am off to Edinburgh on Monday. | Yours sincerely | [signed] Alec. Fleming'. The context is explained on pp. 265-6 of the book. 'In October 1953 he was due to make a speech at the opening of 'Les Journees Medicales' in Nice. Two days before the appointed date, he woke up with a high fever. He himself diagnosed pneumonia.
Mary Proctor (1862-1957), Anglo-American astronomer after whom a crater on the moon is named, daughter of the British astronomer Richard Anthony Proctor (1837-1888) [Alfred Fowler, astrophysicist]
Several from St Joseph, Missouri; others from New York, Washington, and London, England. Between 1889 and 1931.
25 items. in good condition, lightly aged and worn. A small but evocative collection, ranging from a bill of sale of the family's effects in the year following the death of Mary Proctor's father in 1888, to a letter from her cousin in 1931, reprimanding her for spending too much money on unnecessary tickets. Mary Proctor was born in Dublin to British parents; the early part of her life was spent in the United States, and following the First World War she settled in England.
H.M. Patent Office, London (now the Intellectual Property Office) [ Sir Henry Bessemer; Sir John Coode; Gusttav Overbeck; Crosse & Blackwell; Wedgwood; Bryant & May ]
H.M. Patent Office, 25 Southampton Buildings, London, WC. 13 March 1878 to 19 December 1882.
The Patent Office - now the Intellectual Property Office - was established by the Patent Law Amendment Act of 1852, which simplified the procedure for obtaining patents of invention and reduced costs. In 1883 another Act of Parliament brought into being the office of Comptroller General of Patents, with, according to the National Archives, 'a staff of patent examiners to carry out a limited form of examination; mainly to ensure that the specification described the invention properly, but without any investigation into novelty'.
Sir James Gray (1880-1975), British zoologist who helped establish the field of cytology [structure of cells etc]
On letterhead of King's Field, West Road, Cambridge. 31 January 1962.
1p., 8vo. In fair condition, lightly-aged, with small pin-hole at top left and Gray's signature underlined in red pencil. He would have 'loved' to chair 'Dr. Cole's "Cantor" Lecture on 22 May, but has to 'attend at [sic] series of meetings in Ireland during the whole of that week'. He has written to Cole on the matter.
Ray Bradbury [Ray Douglas Bradbury] (b.1920), American author of the classic science-fiction novel 'Fahrenheit 451' [Melissa Scott (b.1960)]
Bradbury's original signature dated 5 January 1994, on fax sent on 6 February 1993, of preface dated in type 14 February 1993.
4to, 13 pp on thirteen leaves, consisting of a covering title-page and with the preface itself making up the remaining twelve pages. Bradbury's inscription, in blue felt-tip pen, is on the title-page, with 'FINAL VERSION! | FEB. 1993' above the title and 'Ray Bradbury | SIGNED JAN. 5, 1994' beneath it. The print-out fax information at the top of each page reads '06-02-1993 09:22 PM FROM ZANA BRADBURY TO 16193205383'. Condition is fair, with the leaves somewhat dogeared and discoloured.
H. Crofts of Offa Street, Bedford, Victorian veterinary practitioner
Bedford, England. 1869 to 1879 (with two items from 1888).
105 pp, in contemporary 4to notebook; started at both ends, with 53 pp at one, and 52 pp at the other. Quarter-bound in brown calf, marbled boards. Aged, in worn binding with a few loose leaves, but fair, and with text clear and complete. Ticket of 'Gotelee, Bookseller Printer and Stationer, Oakingham' on front pastedown. In two hands, the first considerably neater than the other, writing 18 pp of patrons (23 to a page), beginning with 'His Grace the Duke of Manchester Kimbolton Castle Hants', and featuring Sir E. Page Turner Bart Battleden House Woburn'.
Benchara Branford [Benchara Bertrand Patrick Branford] (1867-1944), Scottish mathematician, Professor of Mathematics in the University of London [P.G.Tait; James Clerk Maxwell]
Book published in 1911 (Cambridge: at the University Press). Annotations dated by Branford between 1934 and 1943.
4to: x + 379 pp. Frontispiece and plates. Tight copy on aged paper, in worn binding. Annotated throughout, with the endpapers and almost every page of the first 146 in particular crammed with notes by Branford in pencil and pen. On the front free endpaper Branford writes 'Finished (fairly thoroughly) on Feb. 26th 1934', and on the title-page, 'B. B. Sep. 3d. 1943'. On the same page he has added to the title 'and many notes (additional to those in text) on his intimate & great friend James Clerk Maxwell [...] the notes being taken from his Life by Campbell & Garnett'.
Edmond Le Blant [ Edmond-Frédéric Le Blant ] (1818-1897), French archaeologist and historian
'Paris, rue Leroux, no 7'. 14 May 1874.
3pp., 12mo. Bifolium. In fair condition, on aged paper with some wear at bottom edge. Addressed 'Monsieur'. After a reference to a newspaper article by the recipient and 'les journalistes Français', he communicates, on the subject of cremation, 'un fait que j'ai appris hier du rédacteur en chef d'un grand journal Suisse et qui n'a pas été rendu public par les gazettes', concerning an attack on those attempting a cremation in Berne.
[ Tass Agency; Soviet Union; Evgenyii Mikhailovitch Zhukov of the USSR Academy of Sciences; Jimmy Shields (1900-1949) ]
Issued by Tass Agency, Chronicle House, 72-78 Fleet Street, E.C.4., London. No. 8669, 28 June 1947.
5pp., folio. Duplicate typescript on three leaves. In fair condition, on aged paper. The first article, produced on the eve of Indian independence, begins: 'Moscow radio broadcast an account of a lecture given by Corresponding Member of the USSR Academy of Sciences Zhukove on "The Situation in India" at the Polytechnical Museum in Moscow.' It proceeds with a summary of Zhukov's lecture, the view he expounds including the following: 'Britain's new policy derives from the economic changes which took place in India during the years of the Second World War.
William Carruthers (1830-1922), Scottish botanist, Keeper of the Botanical Department at the Natural History Museum, London
British Museum [ London ]. 5 July 1870.
1p., 12mo. In good condition, on lightly-aged paper. He will have 'much pleasure in breaking our stones o'er again on Thursday', and will 'try & bring some sections with me - several specimens are in the lapidary's hands'. He ends by asking for confirmation of the hour at which he should call on him.
Davies Gilbert [ born Davies Giddy ] (1767-1839), mathematician, President of the Royal Society [ Sir Joseph Banks (1743-1820), naturalist ]
'East Bourn' [ Eastbourne ]. 19 July 1818.
2pp., 4to. In fair condition, on lightly aged paper, with slight damage to a few words along one edge due to removal from album. On his return to Eastbourne he has 'found a note announcing the Commission under the Great Seal for appointing Commissioners to inquire into the best mode of preventing the forgery of Bank Notes', and requiring his attendance the following day.
Abbott Laurence (1792– 1855), American businessman, politician, and philanthropist
138 Piccadilly, 24 April 1850.
One page, 4to, bifolium, discreetly repaired along folds, shiny paper, good condition. "I send to you a parcel containing a work of Mr Agassiz and Mr Cobot [Cabot], with a Report of the American Scientific Meeting last year, and sundry pamphlets - for the Royal Institution." Note: Laurence was US minster to Greta Britain till 1852.
Jane Wardle [ Frances Jane Wardle ] (1950-2015), Professor of Clinical Psychology, University College, London [ Peter Wardle (b.1929), English artist ]
Two of the letters from 48 Abingdon Road, Oxford, and one on letterhead of the Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford. One of the childhood items from Lidstone, Enstone, Oxfordshire. All items undated (adult letters pre-1991).
Wardle's achievements as a leading behavioural scientist in the field of cancer prevention are described in her obituary in the Guardian, 24 November 2015. The three adult letters addressed to 'Daddy'. One four-page letter on yellow paper with loss from damp damage, the other items in fair condition, with light signs of age. One of the other two letters also of four pages, and the last of one page. The letters are intimate and positive, filled with loving encouragement and advice and giving family news.
Georg Christoph Eimmart the younger (1638-1705), German draftsman, engraver, and astronomer; his daughter Maria Clara Eimmart (1676-1707), astronomer, engraver and designer [ Riedener ]
Both dated from Nuremburg. G. C. Eimmart's autograph on 12 May 1699; M. C. Eimmart's autograph on 27 April 1699.
Each on one side of a 9.5 x 13.5cm piece of paper. Both in fair condition, with light signs of age and wear. G. C. Eimmart's autograph headed by a four-line quotation in Latin beginning: 'Omnes probi viri actiones ad sua intima vergunt'. Signed: 'in Gonorem | Nobilissimi
Edward Forbes (1815-1854), Manx naturalist, Professor of Botany at King's College, London
Place and date not stated.
On 3 x 17 cm. slip of paper, cut from longer document. In fair condition, lightly aged and folded. Reads: 'Prof Forbes' compliments to Mr Bowerbank and he cannot they are not ready he will forward them to Mr Ransom himself'.
Sir George Biddell Airy (1801-1892), mathematician and astronomer, Astronomer Royal
Playford [ Suffolk ]. 6 January 1874.
1p., 16mo. In fair condition, on lightly aged and stained paper. In the light of an invitation from Ransome's wife, he proposes to 'drive to Stoke' in the early afternoon of the following day with his daughter Annet ('who has now relieved Hilda'), hoping that it 'will suit Mrs. Ransome's and your convenience'.
W. T. Gordon [ William Thomas Gordon ] (1884-1950), Scottish geologist, Professor of Geology at Kings College London
On leterhead of the University of London, Kings College. 5 May 1930.
2pp., 12mo. 29 lines of closely-written text. In good condition, on lightly-aged paper. 'Such a calamity must be a terrible blow for you all but more especially to Mrs. Joy and yourself. To lose a daugher just blossoming out into womanhood is tragic indeed, the more so, if that were possible, in that she was such a bright girl.' He continues 'By the same post I have word that one of my uncles has just died, and that another has been given up by the doctors. They have both lived full lives, and, in their way, interesting lives, so that, there, one can hardly talk of a tragic end.
Rev. J. G. Wood [ John George Wood ] (1827-1889), English naturalist and author
Date and place not stated.
On one side of piece of 13.5 x 8.5 cm piece of paper. Aged and worn. Reads: 'know when I shall have an evening to myself, for in the last fifteen days or so, I have only dined at home twice, and as far as I see, that much of vagrant life seems rather on the increase than otherwise. But the first evening that I have, I will dedicate to you, & give you notice thereof | Best remembrances to your family - | Yours very sincerely | J. G. Wood'. On reverse, in another hand: 'J. G. Wood | the great naturalist'.
Thomas William Webb (1806-1885), English astronomer and clergyman [ Rev. Dr Thomas Dick (1774-1857), Scottish science writer; William West (1801-1861), artist and builder of the Clifton Observatory ]
Tretire [ Herefordshire ]. 5 March 1840.
For more information on Webb see his entry in the Oxford DNB. 3pp., 4to. On bifolium. In good condition, with light signs of age. Around ninety lines of closely and neatly written text. Addressed (with postmark and red wax seal of smith at forge) on reverse of second leaf to 'Thomas Dick, Esq. L.L.D., | Broughty Ferry | near Dundee, | Scotland.' A highly interesting and informative letter.
Thomas Simpson (1710-1761), English mathematician, eponym of Simpson's Rule
'Sunday May 10.' [ No year or place.]
1p., 4to. In fair condition, neatly mounted on leaf of wove paper. He asks the recipient to 'get 12 more Exercises bound up' for him, 'in ye common way', and also wants 'two Books of Algebra & Hailsham's Philosophy'. A note in another hand at the foot of the page reads: 'Mr Trott will call on Wednesday for the Books.'
Thomas Simpson (1710-1761), English mathematician, eponym of Simpson's Rule [ John Nourse of the Strand, London bookseller ]
Without place or date.
1p., landscape 12mo. In fair condition, lightly aged, with central spike hole. Addressed on reverse to 'Mr Nourse | Bookseller | in the Strand.' He is sending '10 Copies of Geometry', and asks him to send 'the Book of Algebra and Mr. Walmsley's Book by the Bearers'.
Robert Simson (1687-1768), Scottish mathematician, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Glasgow
Glasgow, 3 May 1736.
1p., 8vo. In poor condition, on aged paper, with wear to extremities causing loss to text, including most of the signature, and with spike hole. Describing arrangements, with reference to 'my good friend Mr Clow', to pay the recipient 'the 49£ 7s for the paper', via 'Mr William Drummond who is to be found at Messrs Bayne and Adams York Street St James's'.
Robert Simson (1687-1768), Scottish mathematician, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Glasgow [ John Bevis (1695-1771); James Short (1710-1798); James Bradley (1693-1762), Astronomer Royal]
Glasgow, 1 July 1761.
1p., 4to. In good condition, on aged paper discoloured at the corners, neatly placed in a paper windowpane mount. He asked 'Mr Foulis to pack up Fifty four English Euclids Small paper, for as they had been put up in three bundles of 18 books in each, he thought it should be left to pack up these bundles as they were rather than break one of them to take out four books'. The books have been sent to 'Borroustonness', i.e. Bo'ness (Burrowstounness), Falkirk, and Foulis has given him a receipt from 'Richard G the Master of the Neptune aboard which Ship they are <?> directed to you'.?>
John Hellins (d.1827), English mathematician and astronomer
'Potter's-Pury' [ Potterspury, Northamptonshire ], 23 June 1803.
1p., 4to. On aged paper, with some discoloration and chipping to extremities. He has been hindered by an 'unexpected interruption' from sending, via 'Richd. Scrivener', 'Stewarts Quadrature of Curves', but Scrivener will bring it 'the next time he goes to London'. The middle paragraph concerns 'Langhorne's sermons', which he asks to be sent 'by Coach'. He ends by asking the recipient - if he has received 'the silver medal for me from Mr. Glendinning, in Hatton Garden', to 'wrap it up, & put it into one of the Books'.
Jérôme De la Lande [ Joseph Jérôme Lefrançois de Lalande ] (1732-1807), French astronomer and freemason
'Au College royal le 13 dec. 1783'.
Both items in good condition, with light signs of age, and both tipped in to a paper folder, on the front of which is written the entry from the1833 bookseller's catalogue from which they were purchased: 'La Lande Member of the Academy of Sciences at Paris, a very interesting Letter to some Magistrate soliciting relief for the purpose of his labouring usefully, having expended much money on his pursuits, without reserving any indemnity. It exhibits his delicacy in soliciting this assistance, and expresses a hope that his asseverations will obtain credit.