Nehemia Grew


One of the library’s scientific classics is the remarkable Micrographia (1665) by Robert Hooke, one of the founders of the Royal Society and a pioneer in the development of the quadrant, the telescope and the microscope. What Robert Hook had done for fauna, Dr Nehemiah Grew (1641-1712), also a Fellow of the Royal Society, succeeded in doing brilliantly for flora in his Anatomy of Plants (1682), for it too is based on the microscope. The Roderic Bowen Library and Archives has Grew's pioneering folio book containing uncoloured copperplate engravings of parts of plants, meticulously drawn in the most minute detail then known to science. The text was based on a series of lectures which Grew gave before the Royal Society, then under the presidency of Sir Christopher Wren