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Taking Newton on tour: the scientific travels of Martin Folkes, 1733–1735


Martin Folkes (1690–1754) was Newton's protégé, an English antiquary, mathematician, numismatist and astronomer who would in the latter part of his career become simultaneously president of the Royal Society and of the Society of Antiquaries. Folkes took a Grand Tour from March 1733 to September 1735, recording the Italian leg of his journey from Padua to Rome in his journal. This paper examines Folkes's travel diary to analyse his Freemasonry, his intellectual development as a Newtonian and his scientific peregrination. It shows how, in this latter area, how he used metrology to understand not only the aesthetics but also the engineering principles of antique buildings and artefacts, as well as their context and place in the Italian landscape. Using Folkes's diary, his account book of his journey in the Norwich archives, and his correspondence with other natural philosophers such as Francesco Algarotti (1712–1764), Anders Celsius (1701–1744) and Abbé Antonio Schinella Conti (1667–1749), this paper will also demonstrate to what extent Folkes's journey established his reputation as an international broker of Newtonianism, as well as the overall primacy of English scientific instrumentation to Italian virtuosi.

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1 Martin Folkes, ‘Journey from Venice to Rome’, MS Eng. misc. c. 444, Bodleian Library; Martin Folkes Esq., ‘Memoranda in case he should go abroad again, respecting his Estates, foreighn money & Places’, NRS 20658, Norwich Record Office, f. 18r. His motto also appears on the mezzotint copy of the 1718 portrait of Folkes by Jonathan Richardson. See National Portrait Gallery, NPG D36990. The exact translation of this phrase is difficult, because the exact phrase would not be used with the pronoun qui alone in French, instead beginning with ce qui. The only modern French phrase that gets as close as possible to this fatalistic meaning would be ce qui doit arriver arrivera, which translates ‘what needs to happen will happen’. Used with the verb être/‘to be’ instead of arriver/‘to happen’, an older form of this phrase would be ce qui doit être sera (‘what must be, will be’). This rendition is very close to Folkes's phrase, where the ce in ce qui might have been forgotten by the author, in which case it could become Ce qui sera sera (‘whatever will be, will be’). Folkes, however, was a near-native speaker of French. See also Hartman, Lee, ‘“Que sera sera”: the English roots of a pseudo-Spanish proverb’, Proverbium (2013) 30, pp. 51104 . My thanks to Charlotte Marique for this explanation.

2 Brown, Harcourt, ‘Madam Geoffrin and Martin Folkes: six new letters’, Modern Language Quarterly (1940) 1–2, pp. 215241 .

3 The Family Memoirs of the Reverend William Stukeley, M.D., and the Antiquarian and other Correspondence, vol. 1, Publications of the Surtees Society, vol. 73, Durham, London and Edinburgh: The Surtees Society, 1882, p. 99 .

4 Martin Folkes, ‘Journey from Venice to Rome’, MS Eng. misc. c. 444, op. cit. (1). His ‘Memoranda in case he should go abroad again’ also indicates each stage of his journey and how many weeks he stayed in each place, along with a list of his expenses.

5 Ingamells, John, A Dictionary of British and Irish Travellers in Italy, 1701–1800: Compiled from the Brinsley Ford Archive, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1997, p. 365 ; Eisler, William, ‘The construction of the image of Martin Folkes (1690–1754): art, science and Masonic sociability in the age of the Grand Tour’, The Medal 58 (Spring 2011), pp. 429 . Rebekah Higgitt has a forthcoming book chapter on Folkes and the Copley Medal.

6 Haycock, David, William Stukeley: Science, Religion, and Archaeology in Eighteenth-Century England, Martlesham: Boydell and Brewer, 2002, p. 52 ; Journal Book Original (1726–1731), JBO/14, f. 147, Royal Society Library, London. As Haycock indicates, ‘in spite of the general conviviality of its meetings … [the Royal Society] was divided into two factions, broadly defined as the mathematical and the natural historical parties. Their two chief representatives after Newton's death in 1727  –  Folkes and Sloane respectively  –  would come head to head in a heated contest over who should succeed him as President’. Ibid., p. 52.

7 Family Memoirs of the Reverend William Stukeley, op. cit. (3), vol. 1, p. 14.

8 Byrom, John, The Private Journal and Literary Remains of John Byrom, 2 vols., Manchester: Chetham Society, 1854–7, vol. 1, part 1, pp. 209–10.

9 The correspondence of Henry Baker, vol. 1, ff. 218–219, John Rylands Library, University of Manchester.

10 Ratcliff, Marc, The Quest for the Invisible: Microscopy in the Enlightenment, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2009 .

11 Stukeley MS Eng. misc. e. 126 f. 83, Bodleian Library, Oxford.

12 George Kolbe, ‘Godfather to all monkeys: Martin Folkes and his 1756 library sale’, Asylum (April–June 2014), pp. 38–92, 41. Stukeley also may have been envious of the social position of Folkes, his man and neighbour, who indirectly provided him with a living in London as vicar of St Georges in Queens Square via his uncle William Wake, an antiquarian, a numisticist and, as mentioned, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

13 Weld, Charles, A History of the Royal Society, with Memoirs of the Presidents, London: J.W. Parker, 1848, 1: 480.

14 Charles Lennox to Martin Folkes, 31 July 1733, Royal Society MS/865/12.

15 Charles Lennox to Martin Folkes, 31 July 1733, Royal Society MS/865/12. The letter itself to Pamphili is Royal Society MS/865/13. For the Arcadia and Pamphili's role as host see Graziosi, Elisabetta, ‘Women and academies in eighteenth-century Italy’, in Findlen, Paula, Roworth, Wendy Wassyng and Siena, Catherine M. (eds.), Italy's Eighteenth Century: Gender and Culture in the Age of the Grand Tour, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2009, pp. 103119 .

16 For the letter of introduction see The Correspondence of James Jurin (1684–1750), Physician and Secretary to the Royal Society (ed. Rusnock, Andrea), Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1996, p. 391 . The vis viva dispute lasted from 1686 until the 1720s and concerned whether the vis viva or momentum was conserved in the universe. The dispute started between Descartes and Leibniz and resulted over confusion of momentum (mv) and kinetic energy (1/2mv2). See Iltis, Carolyn, ‘Leibniz and the vis viva controversy’, Isis (Spring 1671) 62(1), pp. 2135 .

17 Folkes, ‘Journey from Venice to Rome’, op. cit. (1), f. 25r.

18 Chaney, Edward, The Evolution of the Grand Tour: Anglo-Italian Cultural Relations since the Renaissance, London and Portland: Frank Cass, 1998, p. 328 .

19 Greengrass, Mark, Hildyard, Daisy, Preston, Christopher D. and Smith, Paul J., ‘Science on the move: Francis Willughby's expeditions’, in Birkhead, Tim (ed.), Virtuoso by Nature: The Scientific World of Francis Willughby FRS (1635–1672), Leiden: Brill, 2016, pp. 142226, 145.

20 Shalev, Zur, ‘The travel notebooks of John Greaves’, in Hamilton, Alistair, Van Den Boogert, Maurits H. and Westerweel, Bart (eds.), The Republic of Letters and the Levant, Leiden: Brill, 2005, pp. 77103, 85. See Grell, Ole Peter and Cunningham, Andrew (eds.), Centres of Medical Excellence? Medical Travel and Education in Europe, 1500–1789, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2010 .

21 Bartholin, Thomas, On the Burning of His Library and on Medical Travel (tr. O'Malley, C.D.), Lawrence: University of Kansas Libaries, 1961, p. 50 .

22 Greengrass et al., op. cit. (19), p. 152.

23 Lister, Martin, A Journey to Paris in the Year 1698 (ed. Stearns, Raymond Phineas), Urbana, Chicago and London: University of Illinois Press, 1967, p. 2 .

24 Lister, op. cit. (23), p. 3.

25 Shalev, Zur, ‘Measurer of all things: John Greaves (1602–1652), the Great Pyramid, and early modern metrology’, Journal of the History of Ideas (October 2001) 63(4), pp. 555575 .

26 David Boyd Haycock, William Stukeley: Science, Religion and Archaeology in Eighteenth-Century England, The Newton Project, at; Dobbs, Betty Jo Teeter and Jacob, Margaret C., Newton and the Culture of Newtonianism, Amherst: Humanity Books, 1995, p. 102 .

27 Trompf, Garry W., ‘On Newtonian history’, in Gaukroger, Stephen (ed.), The Uses of Antiquity: The Scientific Revolution and the Classical Tradition, New York: Springer, 2013, pp. 213249, 234235 .

28 Eisler, William, ‘The construction of the image of Martin Folkes’, The Medal (2011) 58, pp. 129, 5; see also Önnerfos, Andreas, ‘The earliest account of Swedish Freemasonry? Relation apologique (1738) revisited’, Ars Quatuor Coronatorum (2014) 127, pp. 134 .

29 Elliot, Paul and Daniels, Stephen, ‘The “school of true, useful and universal science”? Freemasonry, natural philosophy and scientific culture in eighteenth-century England’, BJHS (June 2006) 39(2), pp. 217229, 213.

30 Berman, Ric, The Foundations of Modern Freemasonry, Brighton: Sussex University Press, 2012, p. 108 .

31 Charles Lennox to Martin Folkes, 27 June 1725, Royal Society MS/865/1.

32 Folkes, ‘Journey from Venice to Rome’, op. cit. (1), f. 24r.

33 Folkes, ‘Journey from Venice to Rome’, op. cit. (1), f. 24r.

34 Force, James E., William Whiston: Honest Newtonian, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002, p. 136 .

35 Byrom, op. cit. (8), vol. 2, part 1, p. 27, entry for 30 March 1736.

36 Byrom, op. cit. (8), vol. 1, part 1, p. 180, entry for 14 December 1725.

37 The specification of the cubit was ambiguous: ‘in the man's hand a measuring reed six cubits long, of a cubit and a handbreadth each: so he measured the thickness of the building, one reed; and the height, one reed’ (Ezekiel 40:5). The Hebrew text reads: ‘a measuring reed, six cubits by the cubit and a handbreadth’. ‘It was unclear whether the six cubits marked on the reed were particularly large, each outsizing the regular cubit by a handbreadth; or whether the reed as a whole measured six cubits and one extra handbreadth. This was to become one of the key problems of much Temple scholarship’. See Touber, Jetze, ‘Applying the right measure: architecture and philology in biblical scholarship in the Dutch early Enlightenment’, Historical Journal (2015) 58(4), pp. 959985, 964.

38 Elliot and Daniels, op. cit. (29), p. 220.

39 Haycock, op. cit. (26).

40 Folkes, ‘Journey from Venice to Rome’, op. cit. (1), f. 20r.

41 Folkes referred to Sansovino, Francesco, Venetia, città nobilissima, et singolare: Descritta in XIIII. Libri, Venetia, 1663, p. 365 .

42 Folkes, ‘Journey from Venice to Rome’, op. cit. (1), f. 20r.

43 Folkes, ‘Journey from Venice to Rome’, op. cit. (1), f. 26r. Folkes also routinely complained in his journal that finding exact calculations for traditional Venetian measures was difficult.

44 Kisby, Fiona, Music and Musicians in Renaisance Cities and Towns, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005, p. 31 ; see also Howard, Deborah, Jacopo Sansovino: Architecture and Patronage in Renaissance Venice, New Haven, CT and London: Yale University Press, 1975 .

45 ‘For when two palms are taken from the cubit, there is left a foot of four palms, and the palm has four fingers. So it comes that the foot has sixteen fingers, and the bronze denarius as many asses.’ (‘E cubito cum dempti sunt palmi dueo, relinquitur pes quattuor palmorum, palmus autem habet quatuor digitos. Ita efficitur uti pes habeat XVI digitos, et totidem asses aereos denarius’). Virtruvius, On Architecture, 2 vols. (tr. Frank Granger), London: William Heinemann, Ltd, vol. 1, Book III, c. I, pp. 164–165.

46 Greaves, John, A Discourse of the Romane Foot, and Denarius: from when, as from two principles, the Measures, and Weights, used by the Ancients, may be deduced, London: M.F, 1647, p. 20 .

47 Greaves, op. cit. (46), pp. 20, 23.

48 Folkes, Martin, ‘An account of the standard measures preserved in the Capitol at Rome’, Philosophical Transactions (1735/6) 39, pp. 262266, 262263 .

49 Boni, G., ‘Trajan's Column’, Proceedings of the British Academy (1907) 3(1–6), pp. 9398, 96.

50 Folkes, op. cit. (48), p. 266. Fabretti, Raphaelis, De Columna Traiani, Rome: Nicolai Angeli Tinassij, 1693 .

51 Soren, David and Soren, Noelle, A Roman Villa and a Late Roman Infant Cemetery: Excavation at Poggio Gramignona, Rome: L’Erma di Bretscheider, 1999, p. 182 .

52 Soren and Soren, op. cit. (51), p. 189.

53 Francesco Algarotti to Jean Paolucci, 20 May 1763, in Oeuvres de comte Algarotti traduit de l'italien, vol. 6, Berlin: G.J. Decker, 1772, pp. 208214 .

54 Excellent analyses of the ancients-versus-moderns debate may be found in DeJean, Joan, Ancients against Moderns: Culture Wars and the Making of a Fin de Siècle, Chicago, The University of Chicago Press, 1997 ; Levine, Joseph M., The Battle of the Books: History and Literature in the Augustan Age, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1991 .

55 Mazzotti, Massimo, ‘Newton for ladies: gentility, gender and radical culture’, BJHS (June 2004) 37(2), pp. 119146, 143.

56 Algarotti, Francesco, ‘Dialoghi Sopra l'Ottica Neutoniana’, in Opere Varie Del Conte Francesco Algarotti, vol. 1, Venice: Giambiatista Pasquali, 1757, p. 317 .

57 Folkes, Martin, ‘On the Trajan and Antonine Pillars at Rome’, read 5 Feburary 1735–6, Archaeologia (January 1779) 1–2, pp. 117121, 120. Contrary to Folkes, the bas relief figures actually do slightly increase from sixty to eighty centimetres in height.

58 Perrault, Charles, Paralelle Des Anciens et Les Modernes En Ce Qui Regarde L'Eloquence, Paris: J.B. Coignard, 1688–1697, vol. 1, pp. 190, 193194 : ‘Il n'y a aucune perspective ny aucune degradation … Les figures sont presque toutes sur a mesme ligne; s'il y en a quelques-unes sur le dierriere, ells sont aussi grandes et marquees que celles qui sont sur le devant; en sorte qu'elles semblent este montées sur des Gradins pour se faire voir les unes au dessus des autres’. See also Norman, Larry F., The Shock of the Ancient: Literature and History in Early Modern France, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2011, p. 235 n. 10; and Weinshanker, Anne Betty, Falconet, His Writings and His Friend Diderot, Geneva: Librairie Droz, 1966, p. 89 .

59 Bawden, Tina, Bonatz, Dominik, Dietrich, Nikolaus, Fabricius, Johanna, Gludovatz, Karin, Muth, Susanne, Poiss, Thomas and Werning, Daniel A., ‘Early visual cultures and Panofsky's perspektive als “symbolische Form”’, eTopoi: Journal for Ancient Studies (2016) 6, pp. 525570, 551.

60 ‘Reading Trajan's Column’, National Geographic, at, accessed 20 May 2017.

61 Journal Book Original 14 (1726–1731), JBO 14, 19 January 1726, p. 37, Royal Society Library, London; Stone, Harold Samuel, Vico's Cultural History: The Production and Transmission of Ideas in Naples, Leiden: Brill, 1997, pp. 278280 .

62 Journal Book Original 14 (1726–1731), JBO 14, 21 March 1727, p. 199, Royal Society Library, London.

63 Casini, Paolo, ‘The reception of Newton's Opticks in Italy’, in Field, J.V. and James, Frank A.J.L. (eds.), Renaissance and Revolution: Humanists, Scholars, Craftsmen and Natural Philosophers in Early Modern Europe, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997, pp. 215229, 217.

64 Folkes, ‘Journey from Venice to Rome’, op. cit. (1), f. 37r.

65 Casini, op. cit. (63), p. 217.

66 ‘Folkes to Stirling, 10 June 1747’, in Tweedie, C., James Stirling: A Sketch of His Life and Works along with His Scientific Correspondence, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1922, p. 192 .

67 Journal Book Original 14 (1726–1731), JBO/14, 21 March 1727, 10 April 1728, 27 June 1728, and 31 October 1728, pp. 191, 235, 249–250, Royal Society Library, London.

68 Sir Newton, Isaac, The Correspondence of Isaac Newton, 7 vols. (ed. Turnbull, H.W., Scott, J.F., Hall, A.R. and Tilling, L.), Cambridge: Cambridge Unviersity Press, 1959–1977, vol. 1, p. 96 .

69 Aberration occurs because lenses have a different refractive index for each different wavelength of light.

70 Hall, A. Rupert, All Was Light: An Introduction to Newton's Opticks, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993, p. 96 .

71 Hall, op. cit. (70), pp. 96–97. See also Kirsten Walsh, ‘Newton's epistemic triad’, PhD dissertation, University of Otago, 2014, p. 104.

72 Sir Newton, Isaac, Opticks, New York: Dover, 1952, p. 26 ; Hall, op. cit. (70), p. 97.

73 Desaguliers, J.T., ‘Optical Experiments made in the beginning of August 1728, before the President and Several Members of the Royal Society, and Other Gentlemen of Several Nations, upon Occasion of Signior Rizzetti's Opticks …’, Philosophical Transactions (1727–1728) 35, pp. 596629, 598599 .

74 Schaffer, Simon, ‘Glass works: Newton's prisms and the uses of experiment’, in Gooding, David, Pinch, Trevor and Schaffer, Simon (eds.), The Uses of Experiment: Studies in the Natural Sciences, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989, pp. 67104 , passim; Casini, op. cit. (63), p. 222.

75 To be fair, Schaffer does acknowledge the controversy over the nature of Newton's genius and his posthumous legacy in his Fontanelle's Newton and the uses of genius’, L'esprit créateur (Summer 2015) 55(2), pp. 4861 .

76 Ferrone, Vincenzo, Intellectual Roots of the Italian Enlightenment, Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press, 1995, p. 95 .

77 Schaffer, op. cit. (75), pp. 72, 99.

78 Letter from Antonio Conti to Martin Folkes, 9 July 1733, MS 790/28, correspondence of Martin Folkes, Royal Society Library, London.

79 Jessop, T.E., A Bibliography of George Berkeley, 2nd edn, New York, Springer, 1973, p. 9 . Pisenti's was the first translation of Berkeley's work on vision into any language: Berkeley, George, Saggio d'una nuova teoria sopra la visione … ed un discorso preliminare al Trattato della cognizione (tr. Pisenti, Giovanni), Venice: Francesco Storti, 1732 . Pisenti also translated Berkeley's work on cognition.

80 Leonarducci, Don Gasparo, La Provvidenza, cantica seconda, Venice: dalla tipograia di alvisopoli, 1828, p. 5 . This is a history of the Somasco congregation.

81 Moschini, Giovanni Antonio, Della letteratura veneziana del secolo XVIII fino a’ nostri giorni, vol. 1, Venice: Dalla Stamperia Palese, 1806, p. 169 .

82 Daniel E. Flage, ‘George Berkeley (1685–1753)’, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, at, accessed 3 December 2016. This is a peer-reviewed and scholarly encyclopedia.

83 Casini, op. cit. (63), p. 217; Barzazi, Antonella, Gli Affanni dell'erudizione: studi e organizzazione culturale degli ordini religiosi a Venezia tra Sei e Settecento, Venice: Istituto Veneto di scienze, lettere ed arti, 2004, p. 181 . Atherton, Margaret, Berkeley's Revolution in Vision, Ithaca, NY, Cornell University Press, 1990, p. 3 , and Chapters 2 and 3 passim. Atherton argues that Berkeley primarily had in mind the work of Descartes and Malebranche in his refutation of the geometric theory of vision; Berkeley, George, ‘Philosophical commentaries’, in The Works of George Berkeley, Bishop of Cloyne, 9 vols. (ed. Jessop, T.E. and Luce, A.A.), London, Nelson, 1948–1964, vol. 1, section 603.

84 Flage, op. cit. (82). The moon illusion is that the moon when just above the horizon appears much larger than when it is overhead.

85 Cantor, Geoffrey, Optics after Newton: Theories of Light in Britain and Ireland, 1704–1840, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1983, p. 19 .

86 Nichols, John, Literary Anecdotes of the Eighteenth Century, London: Nichols, Son and Bentley, 1812, p. 538 .

87 Mazzotti, op. cit. (55), p. 143.

88 Dialoghi Sopra l'Ottica Neutoniana, in Opere Varie Del Conte Francesco Algarotti, Venice: Giambiatista Pasquali, 1757, vol. 1, p. 317 .

89 George Berkeley, Essay towards a New Theory of Vision, in the Works of George Berkeley, op. cit. (83), vol. 1, section 3; Davis, John W., ‘The Molyneux Problem’, Journal of the History of Ideas (July–September 1960) 21(3), pp. 392408, 396.

90 Saunderson, Nicholas, The Elements of Algebra, in Ten Books, vol. 1, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1741, p. vi .

91 Diderot, Denis, ‘Letter on the blind’, in Morgan, M.J., Molyneux's Question, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977, p. 33 .

92 Saunderson, op. cit. (90), ‘Index of subscribers’.

93 Conti, op. cit. (78), MS 790/28.

94 Conti, op. cit. (78), MS 790/28.

95 Cantor, op. cit. (85), p. 26.

96 Cantor, op. cit. (85), p. 31.

97 Gauger, Nicolas, ‘Lettre à M. l'abbé Conti, juillet 1727’, Continuation des Mémoires de Littérature et d'Histoire (March 1728) 5(1), pp. 1051 .

98 Conti, op. cit. (78), MS 790/28.

99 Folkes, ‘Journey from Venice to Rome’, op. cit. (1), f. 30r.

100 Ferrone, op. cit. (76), pp. 98–99.

101 Ferrone, op. cit. (76), p. 99.

102 Ferrone, op. cit. (76), p. 99.

103 Folkes, ‘Journey from Venice to Rome’, op. cit. (1), f. 38r.

104 Folkes, ‘Journey from Venice to Rome’, op. cit. (1), f. 38r.

105 Folkes, ‘Journey from Venice to Rome’, op. cit. (1), f. 38r.

106 Folkes, ‘Journey from Venice to Rome’, op. cit. (1), f. 38r.

107 Folkes, ‘Journey from Venice to Rome’, op. cit. (1), ff. 39r–40r, italics added.

108 Folkes, ‘Journey from Venice to Rome’, op. cit. (1), f. 44r.

109 Pietro Antonio Michelotti to John Machin, 6 October 1733, EL/M3/32, Royal Society Library. Michelotti noted, ‘I have often understood from that most noble and intelligent gentleman Mr. Martin Folkes, a man furnished with every kind of virtue, who is still staying with me, that you have the most clear-sighted opinions in respect of the disciplines of mathematics and physics (in which I too take enormous delight)’. Folkes appended a letter of introduction for Michelotti to Machin to this piece of correspondence.

110 Folkes nominated Riva by letter on 1 October 1733 as a fellow of the Royal Society, as a ‘Person of great Modesty and knowledge in his way and Author of Several Works, which he hath given me to be presented to the Society, one of which is a dissertation on certain fiery Meteors, that have lately appeared and done a pretty deal of Mischief. He is likewise strongly recommended by the Marquis Poleni and Dr Michaelotty’. Riva was elected on 24 January 1733/4. See EC/1733/07, the Royal Society, London. The dissertation that was mentioned was ‘an account of some surprizing Meteors appearing from time to time in the Province of Trevegiana (in the dominions of Venice) described and explained by Signor Ludovico Riva in his Miscellanies in Latin’, read to the Royal Society on 5 December 1734; see Register Book Original, RBO/19/5, the Royal Society, London.

111 U1590_C21_6a, Stanhope Papers, Kent County Archives.

112 For a comprehensive biography of Cocchi see Guerrini, Luigi, Antonio Cocchi naturalista e filosofo, Florence: Polistampa, 2002 ; Cocchi and Folkes also were both Freemasons, and Cocchi later became master of the Florentine Lodge. See Hans, Nicholas, ‘The masonic lodge in Florence in the eighteenth century’, Ars Quatuor Coronatorum (1958) 61, pp. 109112 . Folkes's son also would attend several meetings at the Royal Society when he returned from England, as a means of furthering his education.

113 In a letter to Walpole, Mann recalled speaking with Folkes, and the editor speculated that Mann and Folkes may have met in Italy. Indeed they did. Horace Mann to Horace Walpole, Horace Walpole's Correspondence, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, online edn, 19 April 1777, vol. 24, pp. 289290 n. 3,, accessed 2 November 2016.

114 Casini, op. cit. (63), p. 220. See also Cassini, Paolo, Hypotheses Non Fingo: Tra Newton E Kant, Rome: Edizioni di storia e letteratura, 2006, p. 108 .

115 Cocchi to Folkes, 3 March 1736, MS/790/26, Royal Society Library.

116 Folkes had a pervasive interest in games of chance and was presented with probability calculations about the game of whist from George Lewis Scott, 25 April 1744, MS 250/26, Royal Society Library.

117 Folkes, ‘Journey from Venice to Rome’, op. cit. (1), f. 39r. Martinelli owned a Hauksbee-type air pump which was bought by the Republic of Venice in 1738–1739 for the new chair of experimental philosophy at the university; the pump was used by Giovanni Poleni for his lectures on experimental philosophy. See Brundtland, Terje, ‘Francis Hauksbee and his air pump’, Notes and Records of the Royal Society (2012) 66, pp. 120, 15. The pump is still extant at the Museo di Storia della Fisica in Padua. For Stanhope and Folkes see Bellhouse, David, ‘Lord Stanhope's papers on the doctrine of chances’, History of Mathematics (2007) 34, pp. 173186 .

118 Folkes, ‘Journey from Venice to Rome’, op. cit. (1), f. 42r.

119 Record of the reading of Celsius's book is in the Register Book Original, RBO/16/57, Royal Society Library; see also Celsius, Anders, ‘Observations of the Aurora Borealis Made in England by Andr. Celsius, F.R.S. and Secr. R.S. of Upsal in Sweden’, Philosophical Transactions (1735) 39(441), pp. 241244 .

120 Lockwood, Mike and Barnard, Luke, ‘An arch in the UK: aurora catalogue’, A & G: News and Reviews in Astronomy and Geophysics (August 2015) 56, pp. 4.25–4.30, 4.26.

121 See also Nordenmark, N.V.E., Anders Celsius: Professor I Uppsala 1701–44, Uppsala: Almqvist och Wiksells boytryck, 1926 .

122 Terrall, Mary, The Man Who Flattened the Earth: Maupertuis and the Sciences in the Enlightenment, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2002, p. 102 . See also Iliffe, Rob, ‘Aplatisseur du monde et de Cassini: Maupertuis, precision measurement, and the shape of the Earth in the 1730s’, History of Science (1993) 31, pp. 335375 .

123 This explanation is adapted from Sorrenson, Richard, ‘George Graham, visible technician’, BJHS (1999) 32, pp. 203221, 210–211.

124 Sorrenson, op. cit. (123), p. 211.

125 Terrall, op. cit. (122), p. 137. In his letter to Celsius, Maupertuis indicated that he wished for a model of James Bradley's instrument for observing the transits of fixed stars as well as Graham's astronomical pendulum clock. See extract of a letter from Pierre Maupertuis, dated Paris, 22 November 1735, to Andreas Celsius, EL/M3/24, Royal Society Library, London.

126 Bradley, James, ‘A Letter from the Reverent Mr. James Bradley Savilian Professor of Astronomy at Oxford, and F.R.S. to Dr Edmond Halley Astonom. Reg. &c. giving an Account of a new discovered Motion of the Fix'd Stars’, Philosophical Transactions (1727–1728) 35, pp. 637661 .

127 Journal Book Original 13 (1720-26), 8 December 1720, JB0/13/18, Royal Society Library, London.

128 Byrom, op. cit. (8), vol. 1, p. 109: 1725. ‘Tuesday, 6th April … to Paul's Church Yard, where Mr. Leycester and I went, Mr. Graham, Foulkes, Sloan, Glover, Montagu … There was a Lodge of Freemasons in the room over us, where Mr. Foulkes, who is Deputy Grand Master, was till he came to us’.

129 Anders Celsius, ‘“Lapis Maltadensis”: transcription and translation of a runic inscription on the Malsta stone in Rogsta, Hälsingland, Sweden by Prof. Anders Celsius, Hon. FSA’, Society of Antiquaries of London Minute Book (SAL), SAL/MS/264 B, vol. 2, p. 309, Society of Antiquaries Library, London. See also Jansson, S., The Runes of Sweden, London: Phoneix House, 1962, pp. 7980 .

130 Celsius, Anders, ‘An Explanation of the Runic Characters of Helsingland’, Philosophical Transactions (1737/8) 40(7–13), pp. 713, 13. Celsius wrote, ‘if we suppose Frumunt (the creator of the monument) to have been thirty years of Age when he erected this Monument for his Father, and, with Sir Isaac Newton, allow thirty Years for each Generation, we shall find three hundred and thirty Years from the Death of Fifiulsi to the Birth of Fidrasiv, who is the Stock of these Generations’.

131 SAL Minute Book, SAL/MS/264 B, vol. 2, pp. 164–165, Society of Antiquaries Library, London.

132 MS 790/21, letter from Celsius to Folkes, 3 December 1736, Royal Society Library, London.

133 Sorrenson, op. cit. (123), p. 214.

134 A star's declination changes gradually due to precession of the equinoxes and annual parallax. Bradley's stellar aberration was due to another phenomenon, that of nutation.

135 MS 790/21, letter from Celsius to Folkes, 3 December 1736, Royal Society Library, London.

136 Obligeante lettre; that is to say, a letter that was helpful and pleasant to the reader, Maupertuis.

137 The French word ouvrage is generally a ‘work’ but it could be also a book, a work of art or architecture, or any sort of work that was undertaken.

138 This is et de périls in the letter, where périls would rather mean ‘risks’ instead of the general translation into ‘peril’ because Maupertuis in his letter is generally referring to difficulties and trouble regarding his discoveries.

139 ‘Astronomer’ is written with a capital A in French in the original letter.

140 Letter from Pierre Maupertuis to Martin Folkes, 26 July 1738, MS 790/42, Royal Society Library.

141 Maupertuis to Folkes, op. cit. (140).

142 Folkes, ‘Journey from Venice to Rome’, op. cit. (1), f. 98v. This was noted by Lippincott, Kristen, ‘A chapter in the Nachleben of the Farnese Atlas: Martin Folkes's globe’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes (2011) 74, pp. 281299, 287; Society of Antiquaries Minute Book, vol. 2, pp. 201–202.

143 Schaefer, B.E., ‘The epoch of the constellations on the Farnese atlas and their origin in Hipparchus’ lost catalogue’, Journal for the History of Astronomy (2005) 36, pp. 167196, 196.

144 Royal Society Journal Book, copy, xx, p. 184. This comment about genius was from the address Folkes gave when presenting the Copley Medal to Harrison. See Bennett, Jim, ‘James Short and John Harrison: personal genius and public knowledge’, Science Museum Journal (Autumn 2014) 2 , at

145 Martin Folkes, letters and papers, Decade 1, vol. 10A, 5 – December 1745 to 1 May 1746, MS no 479, Royal Society Library, pp. 1–33. For an approachable treatment of Ulloa's voyage see Ferreiro, Larrie D., Measure of the Earth: The Enlightenment Expedition That Reshaped Our World, New York: Basic Books, 2013 ; see also de Solano, Francisco, Don Antonio de Ulloa: Paradigma del Marino Cientifico de la Ilustacion Española, Coimbra: Universidade de Coimbra, 1990 , which has a nice description of Ulloa's mineralogical work and discovery of platinum.

146 Folkes, letters and papers, op. cit. (145), pp. 30–31.

147 Folkes, letters and papers, op. cit. (145), p. 1. Ulloa published his account in his Relación histórica del viaje a la América Meridional, 4 vols., Madrid, 1748 . See de Solano, op. cit. (145), pp. 335–336, for a discussion of Ulloa's editions.

148 The portrait's provenance is by descent from the sitter with the family of the ffolkes Baronets at Hillington Hall in Norfolk, and was acquired by Christopher Foley FSA for his private collection. See Farrer, Edmund (ed.), Portraits in Norfolk Houses, Norwich: Jarrold and Sons, 1929, vol. 1, pp. 245 et seq., sub Hillington Hall; Kerslake, John, Early Georgian Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery, London: HMSO, 1977, p. 77 and 77 n., sub ‘Iconography’ of Martin Folkes.

149 Sorrenson, op. cit. (123); see also Rousseau, George, The Notorious John Hill: A Man Destroyed by Ambition in the Age of Celebrity, Bethlehem, PA: Lehigh University Press, 2012 .

150 Feingold, Mordechai, ‘Confabulatory life’, in Omodeo, P.D. and Freidrich, K. (eds.), Duncan Liddel (1561–1613): Networks of Polymathy and the Northern European Renaissance, Leiden, Brill, 2016, pp. 2234 .

151 Guerlac, Henry, Newton on the Continent, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1981, p. 46 .

Anna Marie Roos is a Reader in the School of History and Heritage at the University of Lincoln and was a Visiting Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford (2017). I would like to thank Jim Bennett, Christopher Foley, Dmitri Levitin, Keith Moore of the Royal Society Library, Sir Noel Malcolm, and the two anonymous reviewers whose encouragement and comments improved and enriched the paper. I would also like to thank the Fellows of All Souls College, Oxford, for granting me a visiting fellowship and for their kindness, generosity and collegiality.

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