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Christoph Merrett
MERRETT, Christoph.

MERRETT, Christoph.
(1614 - 1695)

(Born: Winchcomb, Gloucestershire, England, 16 February 1614; Died: London, England, 19 August 1695) English physician & antiquarian.

Received his M.D. from Gloucester Hall, Oxford in 1643. Held the posisition as the first librarian of the Royal College of Physicians, which was destroyed in the Great London Fire of 1666, at which time he lost the job. Elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in 1651, he was expelled in 1681 for non-attendence.

Biographical references: Allibone, Dictionary of English Literature, 1859-71. BBA: I 762, 320-342. DNB: 13, 288-9. Dodds, C., "Christopher Merrett, F.R.C.P. (1614-1695), First Harveian Librarian", Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine, 47, (1954), 1053-6. Koinm, A.J., Christopher Merrett: A Portrait in Miniature of Seventeenth Century Natural Science. University of Texas, 1968. [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. Munk, W., The roll of the Royal College of Physicians of London. 2nd edition. London, 1878. 3 vols. Poggendorff: 2, col. 125 & 1428. Raven, C.E., English Naturalists from Neckham to Ray. Cambridge, 1947: 298-338. Watt, Bibliotheca Britannica, 1824. WBI.

1. Latin, 1666 [First edition].
[Contained within a double rule border:] Pinax | Rerum Naturalium | Britannicarum, | Continens | Vegetabilia, Animalia | Et | Fossilia, | In hac insulâ reperta in- | choatus. | [rule] | Authore | Christophoro Merrett | Medicine Doctore urriusque Societatis Regiæ | Socio primoque Musæi Harveani custode. | [rule] | [...2 lines of quotation in Greek from Hippocrates...] | [rule] | Londini Impensis Cave Pulleyn ad Insigne Rosæ | in Cæmeteria Dive Pauli, Typis F. & | T. Warren, Anno 1666.

8°: *88 B-P8 (†2 signed A2, †4 signed A4); 127l.; [32], 1-221, [1] p. Page size: 160 x 95 mm.

Contents: [2 pgs], Title page, verso "Imprimatur. | ..."; [7 pgs], Dedication to Baldi, signed Chr. Merrett, August 1666.; [21 pgs], "Lectori Salutem."-signed C.M.; [2 pgs], Blank.; 1-221, Text.; [1 pg], List of Abbreviations to Authorities.; [p. 221], "Finis."

Very rare. The sheets of this first edition were destroyed in the great fire of London in 1666. Only a few copies survived are now considered very rare. Most copies are therefore dated 1667. This is the earliest attempt at a classification of the plants, animals, and minerals of England. The botanical portion contains over 1,400 species. This work contains mainly lists of names and enumeration of species.

An alphabetical list of English plants with citations to other authorities is given on pages 1-127. A classification of plants ("De Planatarum Classibus") is provided on pages 128-138, while the pages to 154 give a glossary of equivalence between common plant names and their Latin nomenclature. Listings of animals and minerals occurs on pages 155-221 in a section titled, "Synopsis omnium Classisum quibus".

Bibliographical references: LKG: XIV 403. Smith, Early Mineralogy in Great Britain, 1978.

2. Latin, 1667 [2nd edition].
[Contained within a double rule border:] Pinax | Rerum Naturalium | Britannicarum, | Continens | Vegetabilia, Animalia, | Et | Fossilia, | In hac Insula reperta inchoatus. | [rule] | Editio Secunda. | [rule] | Authore | Christophoro Merrett, | Medicine Doctore utriusque Societatis | Regiæ Socio primoque Musæi Har- | veani Custode. | [rule] | [...2 lines of quotation in Greek from Hippocrates...] | [rule] | Londini, | Typeis T. Roycroft, Impensis Cave Pulleyn, Prostat apud | Sam. Thomson in vico vulgo dicto Ducklane. 1667.

8°: [30], 1-223, [1] p. Page size: 150 x 90 mm. Very scarce.

Contents: [2 pgs], Title page, verso "Imprimatur, | ..."; [10 pgs], Dedication to Baldvino Hamey, signed Chr. Merrett, August 1666.; [18 pgs], "Lectori Salutem."; 1-223, Text.; [1 pg], Abbreviations to Authorities Referred.

Bibliographical references: LKG: XIV 403. Smith, Early Mineralogy in Great Britain, 1978.

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