Catalogue Entry: ALCH00024

Notes on various alchemical texts (early 1680s?).

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: Keynes Ms. 35, King's College, Cambridge, UK

[Normalized Text (at Chymistry of Isaac Newton)]

Custodial History

Bought at the Sotheby sale by Gabriel Wells for £44. Yahuda told Keynes on 11 November 1936 that he had bought it and an exchange was agreed: see notes to Yahuda Var. 1 Ms. 24 and Spargo, '1936 sale', 130.

Sotheby Lot



a) 'Cap 1.', text beginning 'Quomodo metalla generantur', in Latin, c. 1,200 words, 3 pp.

b) 'Cap 3 De radice semine spermate et corpore mineralium', in Latin, c. 1,200 words, 3 pp.

c) 'Cap 3 De Mineralibus ex quibus lapis desumitur', in Latin but including an English verse extract from Thomas Norton, c. 3,500 words, 11 pp.

d) Untitled notes on mercury, lead, tin, sulphur and iron, in Latin and English, citing a very wide range of authors, c. 4,500 words, 14 pp.

e) 'De Mercurio duplato', in Latin, 4 pp., with the sub-headings: 'Ex Turba', 'Ex Artephio', 'Ex Bernardo Trevisano', 'Ex Flamelli Annotationibus'; followed by an earlier draft also headed 'De [mercurio] duplato' (1 p.) and notes out of Dionysius Zacharias (1 p.); in all c. 1,600 words.

f) 'De conjunctione in hora nativitatis', in Latin and English, c. 2,500 words, 8 pp.

Originally enclosed in a wrapper bearing a list of contents, which has somehow found its way into Keynes Ms. 30 (f. 1).


Sections (e) and (f) are wrongly described in the Sotheby catalogue as 5 and 4 pp. respectively.

© 2024 The Newton Project

Professor Rob Iliffe
Director, AHRC Newton Papers Project

Scott Mandelbrote,
Fellow & Perne librarian, Peterhouse, Cambridge

Faculty of History, George Street, Oxford, OX1 2RL -

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