Authorised form of nameGrew; Nehemiah (1641 - 1712); botanist and physiologist
Dates1641 - 1712
Place of birthMancetter, Warwickshire, England, Europe
Date of birth26 September 1641
Date of death25 March 1712
Dates and placesBaptism:
Mancetter, near Coventry, England, Europe (26 September 1641)
The Dodson family vault, Cheshunt parish church, Hertfordshire, England, Europe (1 April 1712)
OccupationBotanist; physiologist
Research fieldPlant morphology
Plant anatomy
Pembroke College, Cambridge (BA 1649/50); Leyden (probably MD ?1671)
Practised in Coventry (1671) and then in London; deputy to Jonathan Goddard as professor of physic at Gresham College (1672); deputy to Walter Pope as astronomy professor (1675); compiled a catalogue of the Royal Society's repository; died suddenly while going on his rounds
Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (1680)
Membership categoryFellow
Date of election02/11/1671
Age at election30
ProposerRobert Hooke
Royal Society activityRoyal Society roles:
Sec 1677-1679; Council 1675, 1677-83, 1690, 1692; Plant Anatomy Curator 1672-1673 ; Editor Phil. Trans.:1677-1679
Other Royal Society activityGrew's work 'The Anatomy of Vegetables Begun' was licensed for publication (1671);
Catalogued the Royal Society's repository (1681)
RelationshipsParents: Obadiah Grew and Helen Sampson (née Vicars)
Siblings: half-brothers Henry Sampson and William Sampson
Married: Elizabeth Dodson
Published worksRCN: 41992
RCN: 18847
RCN: 41990
RCN: 18848
RCN: 18849
RCN: 41991
RCN: 41993
General contextGrew's research on plant anatomy often overlapped with the work of Marcello Malpighi (FRS 1669). His primary research area was plant morphology and taxonomy and later plant physiology, for which he also used a microscope. Additionally, he was interested in the chemical analysis of materia medica and is also considered an important figure in dactyloscopy, the study of finger ridge patterns.
Related imagesDiscover a selection of related images in our picture library
Bulloch's Roll; DNB; DSB; Venn; Hunter; Innes Smith
Janet Browne, review of William LeFanu, Nehemiah Grew, MD, FRS: A Study and Bibliography of His Writings in NR 1991 vol 45 pp 115-116
Marie Boas Hall, 'The Early Years of the Royal Society', review of Michael Hunter, Establishing the New Science: the Experience of the Early Royal Society in NR 1990 vol 44 pp 265-268
Charles A Rivington, 'Addendum. Early Printers to the Royal Society, 1663-1708' in NR 1985-86 vol 40 pp 219-220
A D C Simpson, 'Newton's Telescope and the Cataloguing of the Royal Society's Repository' in NR 1983-84 vol 38 pp 187-214
Michael Hunter, 'Early Problems in Professionalizing Scientific Research: Nehemiah Grew (1641-1712) and the Royal Society, With an Unpublished Letter to Henry Oldenburg' in NR 1981-82 vol 36 pp 189-209
Michael Hunter, 'The Social Bias and Changing Fortunes of an Early Scientific Institution: An Analysis of the Membership of the Royal Society, 1660-1685' in NR 1976-7 vol 31 pp 9-114
Jeanne Bolam, 'The Botanical Works of Nehemiah Grew, FRS (1641-1712)' in NR 1972-3 vol 27 pp 219-231
Virtual International Authority File
Royal Society codeNA8411
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
RBO/4/61'Of the Differences of Tastes' by Nehemiah Grew25 March 1675
IM/004733Grew, NehemiahOctober 2004
MM/4/71Letter from Nehemiah Grew to Henry Oldenburgh December 1672
RBO/6/16'Description and use of the Pores in the Skin of the Hands and Feet' by Nehemiah Grewnd
RBO/5/8'The Anatomy of Leavs [Leaves]' by Nehemiah Grew1676
RBO/5/10'A Discourse concerning the Essentiall and Marine Salts of Vegetables' by Nehemiah Grew1676
MM/20/55Letter from Thomas Henshaw to Robert Southwell16 May 1682
RBO/5/11'Experiments in Consort upon the dissolution of Salts in Water' by Nehemiah Grew18 January 1677
DM/5/14Notes concerning the appointment of Curators to the Royal Society and costs incurred by them1660s
IM/001790Grew, Nehemiahnd
CLP/11i/18Paper, 'Of the luctation arising upon the mixture of bodies' by [Nehemiah Grew][1676]
NLB/13/568Copy letter from Robert William Frederick Harrison, to Ernest H Smith, 154 Dennett Road, Croydon, Surrey8 October 1896
NLB/15/485Copy letter from Robert William Frederick Harrison, to Dr Johannes Bosscha, Haarlem, Holland13 October 1897
MS/390/78Bond of Nehemiah Grew to the Treasurer of the Royal Society3 January 1682
NLB/64/647Copy letter from Francis Alexander Towle, Assistant Secretary of the Royal Society; to the Superintendent of the Finger Print Identification Bureau, New Scotland Yard, London S.W.123 May 1923
DM/5/71Recommendation that seven persons (named) 'do take into their Custody all the Rarities, bookes and other goods and chattells belonging to the Royall Society'17th century
RBO/4/48'Some breife observations concerning the nature of Snow' by Nehemiah Grew1672
RBO/4/49'Some observations of the Secondine or innermost cover of the seed of' by Nehemiah Grewnd
MM/16/39Minutes of a committee 'for taking care of the repository of the Royal Society'3 February 1676
IM/001789Grew, Nehemiahnd
EL/L1/40Letter, from Antoni van Leeuwenhoek to Nehemiah Grew, dated at Delft25 April 1679
CLP/10i/32Paper, 'The description of the American pottato [potato]' by Dr [Nehemiah] Grewc. 17th century
CLP/12i/35Paper, 'Observationes aliquot variores de morboso liene' by Nehemia [Nehemiah] Grew[1691]
CLP/14i/27Paper, 'Disputatio medico-physica liquore nervoso' by [Nehemiah] Grew16 July 1672
EL/L1/34Letter, from Antoni van Leeuwenhoek to Nehemiah Grew, dated at Delft18 March 1678
EL/N1/71Letter, from Francesco Nazari to Nehemiah Grew, dated at Rome7 December 1680
EL/L5/62Letter, from Martin Lister to Nehemiah Grew1673
EL/G1/34Letter, from Nehemiah Grew to Marcello Malpighi, dated at London1672
EL/G1/35Paper, 'Some Remarques upon the next foregoing letter [to Marcello Malpighi] by Nehemiah Grew1672
EL/G1/33Letter, from Nehemiah Grew to Henry Oldenburg, dated at Coventry12 March 1671
EL/L1/39Translation of a letter, from Antoni van Leeuwenhoek to Nehemiah Grew, dated at Delft1678
CLP/11i/19Paper, 'An essay, of the proportion of the fixed salt of one plant, or part of a plant, to the fixed salt of an other: and to all the other principles, in any one plant' by Nehemiah Grew8 March 1676
EL/S2/5Letter, from Robert Sibbald to Nehemiah Grew, dated at Edinburgh25 September 1693
EL/R1/38Letter, from Salomon Reisel to Nehemiah Grew, dated at Stutgardiae [Stuttgart]25 July 1684
EL/L1/38Letter, from Antoni van Leeuwenhoek to Nehemiah Grew, dated at Delft27 September 1678
EL/L1/42Letter, from Antoni van Leeuwenhoek to Nehemiah Grew, dated at Delft13 June 1679
EL/A/24Letter, from Joachim d' Alence to Henry Oldenburg, dated at Paris4 January 1676
EL/L1/37Translation of a letter, from Antoni van Leeuwenhoek to Nehemiah Grew, dated at Delft1678
RBO/5/6'Of the Luctation ariseing upon the Mixture of Bodys' by Nehemiah Grew1676
CLP/10i/14Paper, 'Some further account of the pith' by Dr [Nehemiah] Grew12 June 1672
EL/L1/36Letter, from Antoni van Leeuwenhoek to Nehemiah Grew, dated at Delft31 May 1678
EL/L1/35Translation of a letter, from Antoni van Leeuwenhoek to Nehemiah Grew1678
EL/L1/39aPhotocopy of a letter, from Antoni van Leeuwenhoek to Nehemiah Grew, dated at Delft21 February 1679
RBO/4/56'Concerning the Nature, Causes and Power of Mixture' by Nehemiah Grew1674
RBO/5/7'A continuation of the Discourse concerning Luctation ariseing from the Mixture of Bodyes' by Nehemiah Grew1676
RBO/5/12'The comparative Anatomy of Animals begun' by Nehemiah Grew8 February 1676
RBO/5/25Index, listing the experiments, enquiries & discourses contained in Register Book 51688
EL/G1/36Letter, from Nehemiah Grew to Henry Oldenburg, dated at Coventry13 September 1673
MC/14/105Letter from Elizabeth Grew, 19 Sutherland Gardens, Harrow Road, to the Secretary of the Royal Society22 February 1886
MC/14/106Letter from Elizabeth Grew, 19 Sutherland Gardens, Harrow Road, to the Herbert Rix, Assistant Secretary of the Royal Society23 February 1886
NLB/1/87Copy letter from Michael Foster, to Elizabeth Grew18 March 1886
MC/14Volume 14 of miscellaneous correspondence regarding business matters, sent to the Royal Society1885-1888
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