A collection of letters illustrative of the progress of science in England, from the reign of Queen Elizabeth to that of Charles the Second/Letter 2
14th May, 1574.
Right Honorable,—As in your Lordshippes fframe astronomicall, for ornament the ffigures of the most notable constellations in this our visible hemisphere are pourtrayd, adourned with ther due number of hevenly lights; so, in the tables adjoyninge, are impressed sutche numbers as deliver by methode not vulgare the situations and habite which our moovable horizon and meridian, together with ther manifold configurations, with the twoo cheefe lights. Whereupon sundry conclusions, both pleasant for varietye of knowledge and necessary ffor common use, are grounded. Wherof I have in 50 conclusions digested the greater part, with ther historyes poeticall, and judgementes astronomicalle; the which, into a little treatize reduced, I am bould to offer unto your Lordship, hopinge, ere it bee longe, to ffinishe a columne sustayninge a regular body platonicall, garnished with solar dialls, sutche as I thinke hitherto in this land hath not beene seene, to bee placed in soome of your Lordshipps gardeyns, as aptly serving for uses diurnall as that other frame for conclusions doon by night; whose archetype was longe sithens in mind conceyved, and have now at the last also attayned the hand of an hable woorkman to exsequute the same in ffoorme materiall. In the meane, I shall humbly desire your Lordshipp in good part to accept this triflinge testimony of a carefull mind desirouse soom waye to signifye the reverent affection I have and shall duringe life beare toward you, no lesse for private then publike respectes; Always, as becoometh mee, restinge,
At your Lordshippes commandment,
To the right Honorable my Lord Burghley,
the Lord highe tresurer of England, these.
- Thomas Digges ranks among the first English mathematicians of the sixteenth century. Although he made no great addition to science, yet his writings tended more to its cultivation in this country, during the reign of Elizabeth, than, perhaps, all those of other writers on the same subjects put together. The work he alludes to in this letter, if a printed one, is probably an edition of his father's work, entitled "Prognostication Everlasting," one of which was published in 1574 and contains an addition by himself.