Letter on Scientific Instruments

Author(s): Dick, Dr Robert


Dear Sir

I wrote to you in my last some account
of the instruments which I have purchased or bespoke
since I came here. I thought it unneceſsary to be
very particular, both because I had given in a list
to the Faculty to which I have pretty much adher'd
and because I may perhaps make some changes as I find it
convenient. I should be very glad to have any
directions from you either in general, or about the
purchasing of ay particular instrument. I have
push'd Bird a good deal not to neglect our quadrant
and I hope it will be put together before I leave
London. We cannot expect the block before
Christmaſs, if so soon. It is a loſs to me that I
came up so late both because the people of science
are all in the country, and because those who have
complete collections of instruments are also wandring
about and giving courses in different places.

I find models of machines are so extravagantly

dear that I can go no great length in purchasing
them. As I intend to have all my busineſs finished
against the beginning of October, and to set
out then for Scotland, it will be neceſsary for me
to have the rest of the money appointed by the
Faculty before that time. I wrote to you already
that I had received £30 for Mr Garmer.

I have been at Oxford lately, but found it
very thinly inhabited, most people being in the
Country. There are in Ashmoles museum a great
many very curious things, but a great many trifles
and things which the University should not give a
place to. We were shown a bone as large as a Pillar
which the keeper calls the thigh bone of a man, and
has the impudence to say that their Profeſsor of
Anatomy allows it to be so. The Physick garden
contains about three acres, and is kept in very
good order, there are about 900 exotics in pots, with
large stoves and greenhouses. Among the Exotics are

Coffee, Tea, Cotton tree, Sugar cane &c. There is a
plant of Aloes a very noble and strong one
stands in the garden without a pot, which flowered
about two years ago. Pine Apples in abundance
the method of disposing which is all settled, one
to the head of such a College, two to another, so
many to the Profeſsor of Botany, so many to
the Gardiner &c. I should be glad to hear
what is done about supplying poor Mr Roſses
place, and I am

Dear Sir
Your most obedt.
humble servt.
Robert Dick

Sept 14th 1754


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Letter on Scientific Instruments. 2024. In The Corpus of Modern Scottish Writing. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 25 July 2024, from

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Letter on Scientific Instruments

Document Information

Document ID 552
Title Letter on Scientific Instruments
Year group 1750-1800
Genre Personal writing
Year of publication 1754
Wordcount 446

Author information: Dick, Dr Robert

Author ID 168
Title Dr
Forenames Robert
Surname Dick
AKA Robert Dick Jnr
Gender Male
Year of birth 1720
Occupation Academic
Father's occupation Academic
Education University
Locations where resident Glasgow