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Folkes, Martin (1690-1754)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0120 MSS.1302, 2391-2392 & 5403
Held at: Wellcome Library
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Full title: Folkes, Martin (1690-1754)
Date(s): 1745-1748
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 90 items
Name of creator(s): Folkes | Martin | 1690-1754 | antiquary
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

Eldest son of Martin Folkes, a solicitor, and Dorothy his wife; attended University of Saumur, France; entered Clare Hall Cambridge to study mathematics, 1706; matriculated, 1709; MA, 1717; interested in coins; Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, 1719; lost Presidency of Royal Society to Sir Hans Sloane, 1727; succeeded to the Presidency following Sloane's retirement, 1741; under his Presidency the Society's meetings became very 'literary', and the Society lost much of its professional character; Folkes's papers to the Philosophical Transactions concentrated on astronomy; despite the criticisms, Folkes was elected to the 'Academie des Sciences' in succession to Edmund Halley, 1742; following his publication Table of English Gold Coins published at his own expense, his Table of Silver Coins from the Conquest was published by the Society of Antiquaries, 1744; the Tables were much consulted by antiquaries; President of the Society of Antiquaries from 1750 until his death; his communications were on Roman antiquities and coins; when his health failed, he resigned from his office at the Royal Society; died, 1754.


Scope and content/abstract:

Letters and papers of Martin Folkes sent to the Royal Society of London, 1745-1748 and mostly published in the Philosophical Transactions. The majority are initialled by Martin Folkes and endorsed with the dates when they were read to the Society. Partly printed. The papers cover a wide range of scientific subjects, in particular relating to natural history and biology (individual studies of mammals, fish, birds, plants, 'flora and fauna'); and a significant number re experiments involving electricity. Also: magnetism, geology, astronomy, poison, geography, chemistry - metallurgy, medicine, anatomy, and fossils. There are also some papers which pertain to Royal Society business.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Within each item, material is arranged alphabetically by author.

Conditions governing access:

The papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to Archives and Manuscripts material, after the completion of a Reader's Undertaking.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopies/photographs/microfilm are supplied for private research only at the Archivist's discretion. Please note that material may be unsuitable for copying on conservation grounds, and that photographs cannot be photocopied in any circumstances. Readers are restricted to 100 photocopies in twelve months. Researchers who wish to publish material must seek copyright permission from the copyright owner.

Finding aids:

Described in: S.A.J. Moorat, Catalogue of Western Manuscripts on Medicine and Science in the Wellcome Historical Medical Library (London: Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, 1962-1973), and Richard Palmer, Catalogue of Western Manuscripts in the Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine: Western Manuscripts 5120-6244 (London: The Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine, 1999).

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

MS.1302 purchased 1929 and 1934 (acc.63700 and 78977); MSS.2391-2392 purchased 1932 (acc.78820); MS.5403 mainly purchased at various Sotheby's, Stevens' and Glendining's sales, 1932-34, especially Stevens' 14-15 Aug. 1934, lots 283-294.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Copied from the Wellcome Library catalogue by Sarah Drewery.

Rules or conventions:
In compliance with ISAD (G): General International Standard Archival Description - 2nd Edition (1999); UNESCO Thesaurus, December 2001; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Feb 2009

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