Reference numberJBO/1/146
Alternative reference numberJBO/1/217
TitleMinutes of an ordinary meeting of the Royal Society
Date2 September 1663
Description ' Monsr. Huygen's Experiment was prosecuted by the application of a Sucker, but was brought to no issue this day ; and therefore ordered to be continued the next meeting.

The Experiment of closing up of Gunpowder, Aurum fulminans and Water, in their Balls of Steel severally being fired and broken, it was debated, what might be the Cause, that the Gunpowder alone, being fired and broken ; it was debated , what might be the Cause, that the Gunpowder should fire, and not the Gold-powder, the later, being the stronger of the two ?

Some conceived that a Sulphurous matter might Exsude, of the heated Steel, and be communicated to the Goldpowder, whereby its fulminating Virtue might be deaded. Others thought that this powder might fire within the Ball, (having left some air in it, because not filled full with the Powder) and the noyse not be heard at a distance. Others were of opinion, that the penning it in, and giving it but a slow heat, might make it melt, it being found sticking to the sides of the ball, upon the cutting it asunder. It was ordered hereupon, that the Operator should bespeak two balls with cavities no bigger than [crossed out; illegible] a pea, to fill them full severally with Aurum fulminans and Gun powder.

Sir Kenelme Digby suggested that it might be tryed, whether the Goldpowder , sticking to the sides of the ball, after its being heated, would fulminate in the open Air.

Dr Wilkins put the Company in mind to improve their former consideration of making a Hystory of the weather, in Order to build thereupon an Art of prognosticating the Changes thereof : And he suggested that to some of the Members of the Society it might be recomended to make constant Observation , at least of themost considerable changes of Weather ; in order whereunto, Mr Hook was desired to engage herein, which he did : and Dr Wilkins undertook to recommend the same to Dr Power. It was also thought fit that Dr Wren should be written to, to send to the Society a Scheme of his Weather - Engin formerly proposed, to see whether it needed any Addition or not.

Sir Kenelme Digby related , that Dr Dee, by a diligent Observation of the weather for 7 years together acquired such a prognosticating Skill of Weathers, that he was therefore counted a Witch.

The same read a Letter sent to him out of the Palatinate, concerning some children Snatched away in those parts by Beasts, that had the appearance of Wolves, but found killed after so strange a manner, that all people thereabout did Surmize, they were not right wolves, but Lycanthropi ; seing that nothing of the bodies of those Children was devoured : but the heads, Armes and Leggs severed from their bodies ; the Skulls opened, and the brains taken out and Scattered about the Carcases : and the hearts and bowels of them in like manner pulled out , but undevoured. The Company judged , that the truth of the matter of fact ought to be well asserted, befor any thing be pronounced of it.

The same presented a Letter, written to him by Dr Straus, Physician to the Landgrave of Darmstatt, concerning a Foetus, found petrified in part, in the cavity of a womans belly , without the Matrix : about which the Author of the Letter disputeth, whether it was a twin-sister (the Foetus being found a female) or daughter of the woman out of whose belly she was cut ; and concludeth it was her daughter, which by the hardnesse of her body and length of time and broken through the Matrix, into the cavity of the belly, the Matrix being healed up again of it selfe and found cicatrized by the Chirurgeon. The paper was orderd to be filed up.

Monsr Huygens presented a paper from his father, containing a discription of a new fashioned Candlestick ; by which means, the Candle upon it giveth more light than two Torches together ; consumeth lesse wax ; freeth from the inconvenience of Smoak in the narrowest room ; and needeth no Snuffers. The Paper was ordered to be translated and registered. [In margin; Lib. 2. Fol 198]

Mr Hook produced a Microscopical Observation of a worme bred in Rain water, and turned to a Gnatt. '
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URL descriptionDigital version available on The Royal Society Turning the Pages
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