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SIBBALD, Robert.

(1641 – 1722)

(Born: Edinburgh, Scotland, 15 April 1641; Died: Edinburgh, Scotland, August 1722) Scottish physician & naturalist.

Sibbald was the founder and president of the College of Physicians in Edinburgh. He received his medical degrees from Leyden (1661) and Angers (1662). He also studied in Paris and London. In 1667, with Dr. Andrew Balfour he founded the Botanical Garden of Edinburgh. Sibbald was the personal physician of Charles II. In 1685, he was appointed the first professor of medicine at the University of Edinburgh.

Biographical references: Allibone, Dictionary of English Literature, 1859-71. BBA: I 999, 218-254. DNB: 18, 179-81. Hirsch, Biographisches Lexikon, 1884-8: 5, 385. Livingstone, Minerals of Scotland, 2002: p. 12-4, portrait. Munk, W., The roll of the Royal College of Physicians of London. 2nd edition. London, 1878. 3 vols. Nouvelle Biographie Générale (Hoefer). Waller, Dictionary of Universal Biography, 1857-63. Watt, Bibliotheca Britannica, 1824. WBI. Wilson, History of Mineral Collecting, 1994: 192.

Scotia Illustrata, 1684

1. Latin, 1684 [First edition].
Scotia Illustrata, | Sive | Prodromus | Historiæ Naturalis | In Quo | Regionis natura, Incolarum Ingenia & Mores, Morbi iisque medendi Methodus, & | Medicina Indigena accuratè explicantur: | Et | Multiplices Naturæ Partus in triplice ejus Regno, Vegetabili, scilicet, Animali & Minerali | per hancce Borealem Magnæ Britaniæ Partem, quæ antiquissimum Scotiæ | Regnum constituit, undiquaque diffusi nunc primum in Lucem eruuntur, & | varii eorum Usus, Medici præsertim & Mechanici, quos ad Vitæ | cum necessitatem, tum commoditatem præstant, cunctis | perspicuè exponuntur: | [rule] | Cum Figuris Æneis. | Opus viginti Annorum. | Serenissimi Domini Regis Caroli. II. Magnæ Britanniæ, &c. | Monarchæ Jussu editum. | [rule] | Auctore Roberto Sibbaldo M.D. Equite Aurato, Medico & Geographo | Regio, & Regii Medicorum Collegii apud Edinbvrgvm Socio. | [rule] | [ornament] | [rule] | Edinbvrgi, | Ex Officinâ Typographicâ Jacobi Kniblo, Josuæ Solingensis | & Johannis Colmarii. Sumptibus Auctoris. | [rule] | Anno Domini M. DC. LXXXIV.

3 parts in one volume. [Part 1] 2°: ¶21 A-E2 χ2 *21 2*21 *2 **1 A21 B-Cc2 *2 **1; 74l.; [10], 1-15, [1], [14], 1-102, [6] p.; [Part 2] 2°: *21 A-Ff22 ††1; 63l.; [6], 1-114, [6] p.; [Part 3] 2°: **2 {\char62}?1 A-H2 ††2 L-P2 †††1 [plates] ¶¶1; 35l.; [6], 37, [7], 41-56, [4] p., 23 engraved plates on 12l. Each part has separate title page.

Contents: [Part 1] [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [2 pgs], "Regi"-signed Robertus Sibbaldus.; [1 pg], "Ordo Operis."; [1 pg], "Edinburgh" and "Approbatio."; [1 pg], Added title page, dated 1683.; [1 pg], "M. Alexandrri Bodii Carmen."; [2 pgs], "... | Do. Roberto Sibbaldo | ..."; 1-2 (B1r-B1v), "Nuncius Scoto-Britannus, | Sive Admontio | De | Atlante Scotico, | ..."; 3-9 (B2r-D1r), "Series Operis Explicatvr."; 9-14 (D1r-E1v), "Scotiæ | Modernæ Illvtsratæ" [=references].; 14-15 (E1v-E2r), "Admonito."; [1 pg], Blank.; [1 pg], "Catalogus."; [1 pg], Blank.; [1 pg], Sectional title page, "Pars Prima | Prodromi | Natvralis historiæ Scotiæ | ..."; [1 pg], "In | Eximium Hoc Opus | ..."; [2 pgs], "Index." [=contents, section 1].; [1 pg], Dedication.; [1 pg], Blank.; [2 pgs], "... | Do. Roberto Sibbaldo | ..."; [3 pgs], "Præfatio | Ad | Lectorem."; [1 pg], Blank.; 1-102, Text.; [6 pgs], "Index."

[Part 2] [2 pg], Title page, verso blank.; [2 pgs], Dedication.; [2 pgs], "Index" [=contents, section 2].; 1-114 (A1r-Ff1v), Text.; [6 pgs], "Index."

[Part 3] [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [2 pgs], Dedication.; [2 pgs], "Index." [=contents, section 3].; 1-35 (A1r-H1r), Text.; 36-37 (H1v-H2r), "Appendix."; [1 pg], Blank.; [4 pgs], "Index."; [1 pg], Sectional title page.; [1 pg], "Index Capitum Libri Quarti."; 41-56 (L2r-P1v), Text.; [2 pgs], "Index." [=contents, section 4].; [Plates].; [1 pg], "Tabulæ Æneæ" [=explanation of plates].; [1 pg], "Lectori Benevolo."

Plates: The 23 plates show plants, fossil leaves, fish, a ship, birds, insects, claws, and crystallization. Included is one figuring a coat-of-arms that is not called for in the list of plates. The first plate is engraved by Geo. Maine, while three others are signed Jo. Reid. The plates (which have the usual rather amateur look about the printing) figure some 15 birds, including a puffin, a barnacle goose and the first of a loon.

Scarce. Written by command of Charles ll who appointed Sibbald as his natural historian and geographer for Scotland (he was also his appointed physician), this is the first comprehensive work on the natural history of Scotland. The text is divided into sections covering the climate, geography, epidemiology and folk medicine, flora, fauna, and mineralogy, with historical and contemporary references relating to them. The first is a prodromus on the natural history of Scotland, with special attention paid to folk medicine. The second section describes the plants and horticulture of the region. Included is an alphabetical catalog of the plants contained in the botanical gardens of Edinburgh. Section three provides information on the native and domestic animals of Scotland, while the final section pertains to the mineralogy of the country. Included here are descriptions with location information of minerals used in medicine including earths, salts, sulphur, bitumen. Other material covers stones in general, marble, metals, semi-metals, petrifications, marine fossils, etc.

Contents: pt. [1], Nuncius Scoto-Britannus; sive, Admonitio de atlante Scotico; pt. [2], De plantis Scotiae; pt. [3], De animalibus Scotiae ... et de mineralibus metallis et marinis Scotiae.

Bibliographical references: Gatterer, Mineralogischen Literatur, 1798-9: 1, 163. LKG: XIV 402. Nissen (ZBI): no. 3847. NUC: 545, 70-2 [NS 0526647]. Ward & Carozzi, Geology Emerging, 1984: no. 2050. Wing: S-3727.

2. Latin, 1697 [Collection catalog].
Auctarium | Musæi Balfouriani, | E Musæo Sibbaldiano, | Sive | Enumeratio & Descriptio | Rerum Rariorum, tàm Naturalium | quam Artificialium; tàm Domestic- | arum quàm Exoticarum; Quas Ro- | bertus Sibbaldus M.D. E- | ques Auratus, Academiæ Edinbur- | genæ donavit. | Quæ quasi Manuductio brevis est, ad | Historiam Naturalem. | [rule] | Psal. CIV. | [...3 lines of quotation...] | [rule] | Edinbvrgi, | Impressium per Academiæ Typogra- | phum, Sumptibus Academiæ, 1697.

12°: π4 B-Z4 Aa-Ff4 ($2 signed); 116l.; [16], 216 p.

Contents: [2 pgs], Title page, verso "Librum hunc cui Titulus Auctarium Mu- | sæi Balfouriani, ..." [Errata at bottom of page].; [1 pg], "Senatui | Populoque Edinburgeno"-signed Robertus Sibbaldus.; [1 pg], Blank.; [11 pgs], "Præfatio | Ad Lectorem."; [1 pg], Blank.; 1-10 (C1r-D1v), "Index | Authorum | Quibus usi sumus in hoc | opere." [=reference list].; 11-14 (D2r-D3v), "Carmina | In laudem Authoris."; 15-18 (D4r-E1v), "Accede."; 19-216 (E2r-Ff4v), Text.

Very rare. This work describes the natural history collection that Sir Robert Sibbald presented to the University of Edinburgh in 1697. Included in the gift were items inherited by Sibbald from Sir Andrew Balfour [see note below] in 1694. The text was prepared by Sibbald and published at the expense of the University. It is divided into four parts. The first (p. 19-72) covers stones, fossils, minerals, corals, metals, semi-metals, petrifications, etc. The second (p. 73-112) describes the plants, herbs, vegetables, etc. The third is split into two sections. The first of these (p. 113-178) describes the common animals and shells, while the second (p. 179-198) provides information on the poisonous animals, such as snakes, various fish, lizards, etc. Finally, artificial creations (p. 199-216) are covered. Included in this part are coins, manuscripts and mostly books. Soon after the collection was donated it was entirely dissipated (Wilson).

Andrew Balfour. (Born: Balfour Castle, Denmiln, Fifeshire, Scotland, 18 January 1630; Died: Edinburgh, Scotland, 10 January 1694) Scottish physician & botanist. Balfour was educated at St. Andrews and Oxford, finally receiving his M.D. from Caen in 1661. He practised medicine successively in London, St. Andrews, and Edinburgh. Together with Robert Sibbald he founded the Botanical Gardens of Edinburgh. He authored several titles on botanical subjects.

Bibliographical references: Gatterer, Mineralogischen Literatur, 1798-9: 1, 274. Murray, Museums, 1904: 3, 175. NUC [no copy listed]. Wilson, History of Mineral Collecting, 1994: 89 & 192. Wing: no. 3722. (Balfour) DNB: 1, 968-9.