Written in Isaac Newton's hand, Roth Mallor’s Work consists of extracts from the work of Erasmus Rothmaler, a German alchemist about whom essentially nothing is known. Text found on verso is two unrelated chemical recipes for "a menstruum that will disolve gold" and "a menstruum for resolving bodies like the Alkahest but not so potent."
This manuscript sheds light on a story involving three prominent thinkers of late-17th-century England: Isaac Newton (1643-1727), John Locke (1632-1704), and Robert Boyle (1627-1691). After Boyle's death, Newton, with the help of Locke, pursued Boyle's collection of alchemical processes to uncover the secret of metallic transmutation. This manuscript, written by Newton, contains the first and third period of the transmutation process drawn from a manuscript tract sent to Boyle by Erasmus Rothmaler. It serves to prove Newton's and Locke's interest in alchemical transmutation and their collaboration. A dairy entry of Locke's dated May 10, 1692 contains the third-period recipe verbatim, except in Latin rather than English, along with the recipe found on the verso of the manuscript.
|Creator of work|
A catalogue of the Portsmouth collection of books and papers written by or belonging to Sir Isaac Newton, chemistry parcel 4, item 7 (p. 16).
Catalogue of the Newton papers... sold by auction by Messrs. Sotheby and Co.... On Monday July 13, 1936, and Following Day., lot 18c (p. 3).
The Roy G. Neville Historical Chemical Library, vol. 2, p. 658.
|Place of creation|
|Original file type||TIFF|
|Rights||Public Domain Mark 1.0|
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