Nehemiah Grew 1641-1712

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Nehemiah GREW 1641-1712

Biographical Note

Son of Obadiah Grew, nonconformist minister in Coventry. BA Pembroke College, Cambridge 1662, after which he probably returned to Coventry and practised medicine. MD at the University of Leiden, 1671. His botanical investigations during the 1600s came to the attention of the Royal Society and he was sponsored by them as a researcher, and elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1671. Deputy professor of physic at Gresham College, 1672, joint secretary of the Royal Society (with Robert Hooke) 1677, honorary fellow of the Royal College of Physicians 1680. He published numerous botanical works for which he is best remembered, most notably The anatomy of plants (1682) and the 1678 catalogue of the Royal Society’s collections (Musaeum Regalis Societatis), while sustaining a career as a physician in London.


Grew’s library was sold by retail sale in London, beginning 19 June 1712. No catalogue survives – written lists only were supplied - but the advertisement for the sale announced ‘a curious collection of very valuable books in physick, divinity, and history, with a curious collection of scarce stitcht pamphlets and manuscripts’.