Catalogue Entry: THEM00124

'The Question stated about abstaining from blood'

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: SL232, Location Unknown

[Normalized Text] [Diplomatic Text]

Custodial History

Bought at the 1936 Sotheby sale by Emmanuel Fabius for £12. Offered as Lot 510 at the New York Sotheby sale of 3 December 2004 for an estimated $100,000-$150,000 but failed to sell. Offered by Bonhams of San Francisco as Lot 1045 on on 15 February 2009, with an estimate of $50,000-$80,000 but again failed to sell. Offered again by Bonhams of London on 29 March 2011 and sold to an unknown buyer for £102,000.

Sotheby Lot



A discussion in Newton's somewhat rambling late style about Jewish dietary laws and the extent to which they remain in force for Christians. Newton comes to no firm conclusion about the matter, but commends kosher slaughter for being comparatively humane. Avoiding cruelty to animals was, at least in later life, a topic close to Newton's heart, as is attested by many anecdotes about him and by his own writings (e.g. Keynes Mss. 3 and 9).

[Editorial Note 1] The text on this page is written upside down.

© 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 -

Privacy Statement

  • University of Oxford
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council
  • JISC