Chapter Two: Servant of God

'[Moriaen] is taxed for nothing so much as with the general fault of all honest men too much charity or overmuch credulity' - Hartlib to John Winthrop, 16 March 1660, HP 7/7/3A.

In A Free Country

Moriaen had mixed feelings about his new home, the United Provinces. He was certainly not unduly proud of his Dutch parentage. Though there were many individuals of that nationality among his closest friends, notably Justinus van Assche, Louis de Geer and the Collegiant Adam Boreel, his remarks on the nation as a whole suggest he thought them a vain people, jealous of their academic and cultural reputation and stinting of their money, adept at capitalising financially and intellectually on other people's talents and ideas, but loth to give credit where it was due. He advised against bringing Comenius to the Netherlands on the grounds that he would meet with envy if not outright slander from the country's own scholars:

These lands are greedy for fame and love the renown of their learned people and useful inventions. Though there are many among them who love and seek only the art [of advancing knowledge], yet are there not a few who consider it demeaning that a foreigner should know more than they and invent something new.[1]

G.J. Vossius in particular, he went on (Professor of History at the Athanæum Illustre), had dismissed Comenius as unlearned: a half-learned Dutchman could do more, and Vossius himself twice as much if he cared to.[2] He considered that John Pell (an Englishman) was shabbily treated as Mathematics Professor at the Athanæum, and warned that Christian Rave (a German) would meet with the same fate if he accepted an invitation to Amsterdam: 'once they have people [here] they pay them no attention; were they prepared to work for nothing, or indeed to pay for the privilege, they would be men fit for this city'.[3]

On the other hand, he warmly approved the liberty of conscience and lack of censorship which so distinguished the Dutch Netherlands, and especially the capital, rejoycing that 'we are in a free country here' ('man ist hier in einem freÿen land').[4] This was the country in which both the deposed Calvinist Elector Palatine and the deposed Catholic Queen of England took refuge, where Collegiants and Anabaptists were tolerated and where the largest Jewish community in Europe was free to practise its faith in public. Deploring the censorship imposed on Joachim Jungius by the Hamburg school authorities and on Comenius by his own church, Moriaen repeatedly contrasted the situation in the Dutch Netherlands: 'here one is free to believe <38> and to write whatever one can or will'.[5]

He settled in Amsterdam as a man of some means, and a number of incidental comments suggest that his principal investment was in the fishing industry. He remarked so phlegmatically on the seizure of three ships in which he had an interest - one at least of which was a fishing vessel - by Dunkirk privateers in 1640 and 42 that it seems fairly safe to assume he had considerable other assets besides.[6] Though he in fact referred to the ships as 'his', it is extremely unlikely that he owned them outright: normal practice was for a syndicate to raise funds for trading expeditions, especially in the high-risk fishing industry, and to divide the profit (or loss) proportionately.[7] Two weeks after the second incident he asked for Hartlib's help in the recovery of yet another ship, also taken by privateers and sold by them in England, in which he stood to inherit a one-sixteenth share (whether from the Moriaens or the van Zeuels is not clear).[8]

A further indication that things were going well for him financially during the early years in Amsterdam is his remark in March 1639 that he was now in a position to devote himself exclusively to raising funds for Comenius and his collaborators).[9] He was no more specific than this, but the obvious implication is that he was no longer burdened with earning a living. Possibly he had inherited some money; possibly he had been successful (or lucky) in his business ventures. It was certainly possible for investors to rise from fairly modest means to quite spectacular wealth in the market economy of the mid-seventeenth-century Netherlands. On 15 August 1643 he bought 2600 guilders (about £260) worth of shares in the Dutch West India Company. He finally cashed them in, having fallen on hard times, in 1658.[10] This is no vast sum, but probably represents only a portion of his total investments.

Maria Elisabeth Moriaen, the daughter born in 1637, died of an unspecified illness at the age of just over two. She was, according to Moriaen's stoical report of the event, the couple's only child.[11] Not one extant letter makes any reference to subsequent offspring, and the concern Moriaen expressed after narrowly surviving a serious illness in 1657 as to what would become of his wife should he die strongly suggests he left no heirs.[12] One of the very few extant letters addressed to him, from 1651, concludes with greetings to his wife and friends but makes no mention of any other family.[13]

Besides his business activities, Moriaen had three main occupations during his early years in Amsterdam. First and foremost, he became Hartlib's principal agent in the Netherlands for the drive to raise financial support for and interest in the Moravian thinker Comenius and his educational reform programme. This will be discussed in detail in Chapter Four. His other principal concerns were the printing industry and the conversion of the Jews.

Writers from all over Europe looked to Amsterdam to publish works that would be banned in their native countries. Moriaen promptly associated himself with the leading printers in Amsterdam, Willem Jansz Blaeu, Johann Jansson and Lodewijk Elsevier. As has been mentioned, he was also friendly with the Frankfurt printer Matthias Merian the Elder, and he was quick to make the acquaintance of another German, Hans Fabel, when the latter set up a press in Amsterdam in 1646. Moriaen was particularly impressed with Fabel, who specialised in works of a mystical and alchemical nature, such as Franckenberg, Tschesch, Boehme, Raselius and above all Felgenhauer[14] - all <39> very reminiscent of the type of literature Moriaen had been discussing with Dury and van Assche, and obtaining from Morsius, during his stay in Nürnberg. In 1648, Fabel also printed a work by Hartlib's brother, Georgii Hartlibii exulis diarium Christianum (The Christian Diary of Georg Hartlib, an Exile),[15] though this (rather surprisingly) is not mentioned anywhere in Moriaen's surviving correspondence. Through these various contacts, and no doubt also through old acquaintances in Frankfurt who could keep him advised of what was on show at the city's annual book fair, he became one of Hartlib's principal informants on what was being published in Germany and the Netherlands, and a major supplier of continental literature. The names of Boehme and Felgenhauer recur once again in the commissions sent him by Hartlib and Haak, as does that of the similarly unorthodox spagyrist and prophet Sophronius Kozack.[16]

He also commissioned a number of publications on Hartlib's and Dury's behalf and oversaw their printing. Costs were lower in Amsterdam than in England, and there was less likelihood of interference from the censors, though the problem still remained of having the works brought into England after they had been printed. Most of the works commissioned were intended to publicise Comenius's pansophic work or Dury's irenic projects. Hardly any of the pieces mentioned have been preserved, which suggests they were brief pamphlets issued in cheap editions for widespread and possibly free distribution by the intelligencers in England.

It was Moriaen who commissioned the 1639 Elzevier edition of Comenius's Prodromus Pansophiæ, and he consulted with Hartlib about any alterations to be made in the new 1640 edition of the Janua linguarum.[17] There is repeated mention of a planned Amsterdam edition of the English mathematician William Oughtred's Clavis mathematica, though this seems never to have appeared, probably because of Oughtred's failure to send over his revisions and additions.[18]

In many instances, it is impossible to tell whether proposed printings in fact took place. This is the case with Hübner's Idea politica, which Moriaen was keen to print but the author apparently deemed unworthy of publication,[19] and with Dury's Analysis demonstrativa.[20] Other works that certainly did go to press under Moriaen's auspices include a Parænesin ('Exhortation') by Dury, which Moriaen also spoke of having translated (probably into German or Dutch, possibly Latin). This may well be the same work as An Exhortation for the Worke of Education Intended by Mr Comenius, published through Moriaen along with The Duties of Such as Wish for the Advancement of True Religion, an Answer to the Lutherans, and an unspecified 'dissertatio didactica', all by Dury.[21] Of all these works, the only one now known to survive in printed form is the Duties, a later edition of which is noted in Wing's Short Title Catalogue.[22] A number of other works were also entrusted to Moriaen, but their titles are not recorded. Indeed, Moriaen considered Hartlib's passion for publishing somewhat excessive: 'I cannot see, indeed, what purpose is served by so many pieces directed to the same purpose'.[23] However, he did as he was asked, and 1640 in particular saw a steady flow of tracts from the Amsterdam presses sent across by Moriaen into London.

One large batch of works, evidently by Dury and including the above-mentioned Duties and Exhortation, was impounded by the English authorities acting under instructions from the Church. Dury at this time, as Anthony Milton puts it, had 'both sides [Anglican and Puritan] scrutinizing him for lack <40> of zeal', and was extremely uneasy about receiving politically sensitive material, such as an anti-Laudian petition of March 1640, by post from Hartlib.[24] Suspicion had been aroused in the case of the pamphlets by another piece of carelessness on Moriaen's part: the works had been bound under the wrong titles.[25] Moriaen's letters suggest that this was indeed a genuine error rather than a deliberate piece of camouflage. It is of course possible that the letters were themselves adapted to take account of the possibility they too might be intercepted, but the remarks about the unchristian and untimely zeal of the impounders hardly sound calculated to reassure official eavesdroppers.[26] In any case, it is understandable that the authorities should have wondered what was being brought into the country under an apparent disguise. Moriaen's indignant declaration that a title is neither here nor there, and that this was a typical piece of petty-minded interference on the part of the tiresome bishops, is less than reasonable:

so the child has been wrongly christened, is that so terrible? No one is done any harm by it. I can scarcely imagine that the bishops will meet with the applause of any sensible politician for their untimely zeal (so far as the contents are concerned).[27]

In due course, the works were indeed found to be innocuous and were released, but not until Hartlib had been put to a deal of trouble to negotiate this outcome. Dury, who was in Hamburg at the time, sent a rather ingratiating letter about the affair to Philip Warwick, the Bishop of London's secretary, thanking him for ordering their release. The whole point of this, as he told Hartlib, was 'to Cleere my self of all suspicions which might fall upon me'.[28] In the letter to Warwick, Dury castigated Moriaen (without naming him) for his inefficiency, and rather implausibly denied that Dury himself knew anything at all about the printing and shipping of his works:

although the harmelesse matter contained in them so farre as my conceptions were unaltered, needeth no Apologie; yet the fashion of their habit, the place whence they came, the company which came with them, et the forme of theire conveiance being somewhat suspicious in these doubtfull times, et I being ignorant et innocent of all this, who neverthelesse hadd might a been[29] a sufferer thereby in the judgment of superiours: therefore your courtesie deserveth thancks et due acknowledgment from having freed me from the appearance of guilt which the irregular proceeding of imprudent, though well meaning persons, was like to bring upon me.[30]

This did not prevent Dury from employing Moriaen two years later to print his now lost Answer to the Lutherans, and in the case of this work there can be no doubt whatsoever that publication occurred at his own request, since he repeatedly mentioned the fact himself and complained about the delays in bringing the work out - delays for which Moriaen apparently blamed the dilatoriness of the printer (which printer this was is nowhere specified).[31] When it finally appeared in October 1642, it turned out that Moriaen had botched the job again. Dury was thoroughly disappointed and annoyed:

Mr Moriaen hath caused the Epistolicall Dissertation to bee printed, but <41> so incorrectly that it is a shame to see it: & without any preface; so that I shall be taken for the putter of it forth, by euery one that seeth it; I would rather it hadde not at all beene putte to the presse, then so abused.[32]

Having blamed the delays on the printer, Moriaen now rather lamely blamed the errors on a scribe, who had presumably been employed to produce a more legible version of the manuscript for the benefit of the printer and typesetters (who would probably not have understood English). Moriaen had checked the edition not against the original but the transcription.[33] After 1642, Hartlib and Dury looked elsewhere to have their productions brought to light by agents whose skill and efficiency were better answerable to their zeal.

Moriaen and the Jews

Moriaen also cultivated contacts with Amsterdam's substantial Jewish community. The exceptional tolerance with which Jews were treated in the Dutch Netherlands, being allowed to maintain synagogues openly and to associate freely with any Christians who cared to let them do so, made the capital a focal point for Christian-Jewish contacts. Moriaen took full advantage of this fact, as did his friends van Assche and Serrarius, who had both moved to Amsterdam ahead of him. As Dury later remarked with regard to the activities of the Hebraist Christian Rave in promoting such dialogue,

I conceiue that Amsterdam where there is a Synagogue of Iewes, & a Constant waye of Correspondencie towards the orientall parts of the world; & where there are some alreddie in a public waye intending the promotion of those studies; will bee a place more fit for his abode then any in england, except somethinge extraordinarie were done by those of London for the aduancement of vniuersall Learning.[34]

How far Moriaen's scholarly interest in Judaism extended is not at all clear. He mentioned having lent the Hebraist J.H. Bisterfeld his concordance of Hebrew, and spoke of plans for Bisterfeld to teach him his 'method of investigating the true meaning of Hebrew roots' ('methodum inquirendi veram radicum Hebraicarum significationem'),[35] which argues at least an interest in studying the language, but gives no firm evidence as to how far he had progressed. There is also an intriguing reference to someone Moriaen called 'my Hebrew' ('Mein Hebræus'), possibly a convert, with whom he had been discussing religion, and who had drawn his attention to a passage in a Jewish text about the sufferings of the Messiah for the sins of the whole human race ('de passionibus Messiæ pro peccatis totius generis humanj').[36] This delight in finding supposed prefigurations of Christianity in the parent religion is very much like Serrarius's response to the highly unorthodox opinion of Rabbi Nathan Shapira that the Messiah had been revealed in Jesus among others:

When I heard these things, my bowels were inwardly stirred within me and it seemed to me that I did not hear a Jew, but a Christian, and a Christian of no mean understanding, who did relish the things of the Spirit and was admitted to the inward mysteries of our religion.[37]


Serrarius was one of the foremost promoters, on the Christian side, of communication between the two camps. He came to believe that the Jewish expectation of a coming Messiah and the Christian expectation of Christ's return were simply two sides of the same coin, and that though the Jews had failed to recognise their Saviour on his first visit, they would not make the same mistake again. This synthesis of Christian Millenarianism and Jewish Messianism was an area where a number of less orthodox figures from either faith found common doctrinal ground. Serrarius eventually became so involved with Messianism that he went half-way to accepting the self-proclaimed Jewish Messiah Sabatai Sevi, who launched his mission in 1665, though Serrarius saw him only as a precursor of the true Second Coming, a sort of latterday John the Baptist. Even Sevi's subsequent public conversion to Islam was seen by Serrarius as a part of the providential scheme and failed to shake his faith.[38]

While there is nothing in Moriaen's letters to suggest that his sympathy for Judaism went nearly so far as this, he was certainly interested in the Jews and concerned like Serrarius 'to gain them through kindness',[39] by presenting them with the human face of Christianity. He was particularly keen to see a Hebrew version of Comenius's Janua linguarum brought out, for as will be discussed he saw Comenius's educational and philosophic method as a far more effective means toward the reconciliation of different faiths than doctrinal dispute. He and van Assche were even involved in a charitable collection for the Amsterdam Jews in 1643 - a most remarkable activity for a respectable Amsterdam merchant to be engaged in at this period. Richard Popkin describes the fund raising efforts in 1657 by Dury, Serrarius and other Millenarians for the visiting Rabbi Nathan Shapira of Jerusalem on behalf of Palestinian Jews as 'the first known case of a Christian venture of this kind for Jews',[40] but this collection for the Amsterdam Jews preceded it by fourteen years. Whether Moriaen and van Assche had a hand in organising it or merely contributed is uncertain: the only record of the business is a mention in a letter from Moriaen to his friend, stating that some of the Jews had become suspicious about the way the money was being distributed.[41] Moriaen asked van Assche to send a detailed account of how much he had given and exactly to whom, so that any doubts could be cleared up, at least so far as his part in the matter went.

For many Christians, a major impetus to such endeavours was the belief that the conversion of the Jews was prophesied in the Bible. The key text here was Romans 11, especially verses 23, 26 and 27:

And they [the Jews] also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. […]

And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob [i.e. Israel]:

For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

Paul's somewhat ambivalent thinking on this point, moving as it does from the conditional possibility of Jewish redemption to confident prediction of it, in fact allows of a number of interpretations. To a doctrinally uncommitted reader, it looks very much like an unresolved struggle on the author's part to <43> reconcile his sense of his own Jewish origins with his commitment to the new faith. The chapter begins: 'Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite'. Paul sought to resolve this conflict by deciding that the rest of his nation was destined to follow him in his conversion. For his Christian readers in the seventeenth century, however, the passage of course represented not Paul's private difficulties but a divine prophecy. To the Millenarians looking to the fulfilment of all Biblical prophecy in the near future, conversion of the Jews thus became a major desideratum. So did the completion of the Jewish diaspora, for it was believed that the scattering of the Jews to all corners of the earth was also destined to precede the Millennium.[42] This was another point on which Millenarians and Messianists found common ground, and is why both the circle around Menasseh ben Israel and that around Hartlib were so excited by the reports that began to come out in 1650 that the native Americans were of Hebrew descent.[43] (No comment by Moriaen on this notion survives.) Menasseh made this a keynote of Spes Israelis (The Hope of Israel, 1650), his petition to have the Jews readmitted to England. The diaspora was already much further advanced than anyone had realised: England and Spain were practically the only places left without a Jewish population (or at least without an officially recognised one). The Christian Millenarians added to this a providential role for England not only in the completion of the diaspora but also in the conversion of the Jews.

One of the reasons the Jews rejected Christianity, it was argued, was that even where they were not actively persecuted or oppressed by its adherents, they saw it practised in such corrupt and absurd forms that there was little incentive for them to study it more closely or seriously. Once the Jews saw the true faith being practised in truly godly fashion, as it was in England, they would be far more likely to take it seriously.[44] In the Reformed Dutch Netherlands, for instance, while there had not been quite such a spate of conversions as might have been hoped for, there were a number of Jews - such as Menasseh, Jehudah Leon and Moriaen's anonymous 'Hebrew' - who were at least willing to consider the arguments and look at the evidence.

The promotion of Jewish-Christian dialogue, particularly at an intellectual and academic level, was a favourite project of Hartlib and especially of Dury. They petitioned Parliament in 1649 for £1000 to set up, as part of a new University of London,[45] a College of Jewish Studies (to be attended exclusively by Christian scholars), with a view to increasing Christian knowledge and awareness of Jewish language, culture, customs and beliefs, the better to be able to enter into a dialogue with the Jews and to explain to them that Christianity, far from being a rejection of their faith, was its culmination.[46] They were in regular contact with Menasseh (who despite his failure to see the light was proposed as one of the professors) about plans for this college and for the readmission of the Jews to England, and Moriaen was frequently used as an intermediary in these exchanges.[47] It was through Moriaen that one hundred copies of Menasseh's Spes Israelis were sent to England in 1650, though in his only surviving mention of this he lamented that they had failed to arrive. Moriaen could no longer remember by which shipper he had sent them, but Menasseh had offered to send another hundred to replace them.[48] What became of the lost copies, however, is not revealed. Clearly Moriaen was in close contact with this leading figure in the promotion of Judaeo-Christian dialogue. Regrettably, and rather surprisingly, this is the <44> only mention of him in Moriaen's surviving correspondence, beyond two very fleeting references earlier in 1650 to letters forwarded by Moriaen from Dury to Menasseh, and to Christian Rave's purchase of Menasseh's Hebrew press.[49] Presumably he sent most of his news of Menasseh to Dury and trusted him to pass any relevant information on to Hartlib. On 29 April 1654, Dury wrote to Hartlib from Amsterdam that Menasseh 'intends to come ouer to sollicit a freedome for his nation to liue in England […] if he come hee will make his addresse to you by Mr Moriaens direction'.[50]

Moriaen also became involved with all the Christian figures who loomed largest in the plans for the College of Jewish Studies. Johann Stephan Rittangel (1606-52) had lived a long time among Jewish communities in Eastern Europe and, it was said, at some time shared their faith. Dury even stated that 'in Asia and some part of Europe [he] hath been above twenty years conversant with them, and a doctor in their Synagogues'.[51] Moriaen too, some time before meeting him, heard from Bisterfeld of a learned 'Rabbi Rittungal',[52] which looks very much like a slightly skewed form of his name. The German biographer J.C. Adelung, in his notice on Rittangel, claims the story that he was born or converted to Judaism is unfounded, that he himself always denied it and that 'not even his enemies ever accused him of such a thing'.[53] But Dury, Bisterfeld and Moriaen were by no means his enemies, and were under this impression well before 1652, when (according to Adelung) the 'accusation' was first made (by the Königsberg Consistory). The possibility remains, of course, that Bisterfeld, Dury and Moriaen were mistaken; on the other hand, if the story was true, it would not be surprising that in 1652 Rittangel found it expedient to deny the fact.

He was Professor of Oriental Languages at Königsberg in the 1640s, and in 1641 set off on a visit to Amsterdam to supervise the publication of his manuscripts. However, the ship he was travelling on was attacked by privateers, and his manuscripts and many personal effects lost. Furthermore, in the wake of the attack, the ship put in at England, presumably having been left in no condition to continue its journey, and Rittangel found himself unexpectedly in London. Here he was eagerly taken up by Hartlib and Dury. This was precisely the moment when they thought their grand design for religious reconciliation and educational and scientific reform was on the point of bearing fruit in England. Comenius had at last been persuaded to join them in London, and the newly-convened Parliament was looking favourably on their plans.[54] The sudden and unlooked-for appearance of a brilliant Hebraist seemed nothing short of providential. They set about promoting him as a reconciler of Jews and Christians and an indispensable source of information on the former.[55]

Rittangel, however, appears to have been less impressed by his new friends and benefactors then they, at least initially, were by him. He left England in November 1641 and proceeded with his original plan to go to Amsterdam, where Moriaen took him under his wing. In the letters relating to Rittangel, the high ideals of Jewish-Christian reconciliation and the propagation of knowledge are repeatedly interrupted by references to the incongruously mundane detail of Rittangel's bed, which had for some reason been left behind in London and which Hartlib was supposed to forward. Rittangel became thoroughly despondent about his missing bed, and according to Moriaen came to the conclusion 'that by not forwarding his <45> effects you [Hartlib] are trying to hold him up, here as there'.[56] A likely explanation of this remark is that the ever-optimistic Hartlib had been holding out to Rittangel glowing prospects of Parliamentary sponsorship for his work, and that the failure of any such sponsorship to materialise led the Hebraist to think Hartlib was merely dallying with him. Certainly Moriaen was still hoping there might be some support forthcoming for Rittangel from the English Parliament, in return perhaps for the dedication of his work, some months after his departure from England.[57]

Rittangel was a particular authority on the Caraite, or Caraean, Jews, among whom he had apparently lived. The Caraites were a sect who rejected the Talmud (i.e. the post-Biblical Jewish oral tradition), a stance in which some Protestant commentators saw a parallel with their own rejection of the scripturally unsanctioned 'innovations' of Rome. By the same token, Caraites were often seen as prime targets for conversion to 'true' Christianity: as Hartlib wrote to Worthington, they were 'such as begin to look towards their engraffing again'.[58] Hartlib's papers include a sympathetic account of them by Rittangel, in which he stressed their favourable disposition to Christian teaching and their respect for New Testament figures, and claimed (somewhat implausibly, since the sect did not come into being until the eighth century AD), that according to their own literature, their schism with the Pharisees first arose because the Caraites tried to protect Christ from them.[59]

Rittangel's principal occupation in Amsterdam was the preparation of an edition of the Cabbalistic Sefer Yezirah, or 'Book of Creation',[60] which explained a method of mystic contemplation based on the ten sefirot, or primordial numbers, and the twenty-two Hebrew letters. A Hebrew manuscript of this was obtained, probably through Moriaen, from the merchant and Hebrew scholar Gerebrand Anslo, who had studied under Menasseh ben Israel. First, Rittangel had to transcribe the entire work so that he could return the precious original to its owner, and then he set about translating it into Latin and annotating it. Moriaen followed his work on the project closely and reported to Hartlib on his progress. Interestingly enough, he saw the work not only as a means of increasing Christian awareness of Jewish traditions and beliefs, but as containing important religious truths in its own right:

I am firmly assured that such Rabbinical secrets, particularly those concerning the doctrine of the Three-In-One, have never before been brought to light, and I likewise have no doubt that it will be possible to use his work as usefully against the anti-Trinitarians as against the Jews.[61]

It was evidently his view that, since the Christian faith was implicit in the Jewish, or at least in the pre-Christian form of the Jewish, a true exposition of Jewish texts could only serve to demonstrate the truths of the daughter faith. The Yezirah was in fact written at some time between the second and sixth centuries AD, but was believed to be contemporaneous with the patriarch Abraham, if not actually to have been set down by him. It was Moriaen who arranged for publication of Rittangel's translation, through his old friend Johann Jansson, in 1642.[62] Rittangel also considered undertaking a translation of another Cabbalistic work, the Ticcunei Zoar, though he seems never to have got round to this.[63]


During the eight months or so Rittangel spent in Amsterdam, Moriaen found him lodgings, raised money for him (he specifically mentioned supplying fifty Imperials, though whether from another collection or out of his own pocket is not clear), and did his best to keep his spirits up. This last undertaking seems to have been a lost cause. To be fair, Rittangel had had more than his share of bad luck, and moreover was missing his wife and young child, left behind in Königsberg. But Moriaen soon came to find him insufferably melancholic and thoroughly tiresome, as he repeatedly complained both to Hartlib and van Assche.[64] It has to be said that Rittangel's report on the Caraites, mentioned above, does not say much for his sense of proportion or his humility. He claimed that the Caraites had advised the King of Poland that if he wished to know more about them, he could do no better than to read Rittangel's work, and that Rittangel himself, after acting as interpreter, so impressed the King and his confessors that

I was often obliged to dine with them, and to hear it said, in the presence of persons of high rank, 'This is the only man for Oriental languages, his like is not to be found in all Europe![65]

After Rittangel's return to Königsberg in mid-1642, his association with the circle fizzled out in mutual disappointment. Looking back on the business some five years later, Moriaen observed of Rittangel, 'he is so bizarre that there is little or nothing to be done with him'.[66] Nonetheless, he continued to do his best for the man and to promote his studies, distributing copies of the Yezirah through van Assche and Dury (and no doubt other contacts besides),[67] but without undue success: in 1657, he had to send fifty unsold copies back to the author (and, furthermore, payment for a another fifty he had never seen, 'in order to have peace from him').[68] As he put it in a typical little burst of homely philosophy, 'merely for the sake of the sweet honey, one must sometimes patiently endure the stinging of the bees'.[69]

Moriaen had higher hopes of the young Hebraist Georg Gentius (1618-87), another protégé of the same Anslo who lent Rittangel his copy of the Yezirah. Anslo, however, imposed on his patronage the condition that he be made sole dedicatee of any of Gentius's work, thus cutting him off from any other possible source of income.[70] Both Gentius and Moriaen considered this an entirely unreasonable attitude, saying more about Anslo's regard for himself than about his concern for the common good. Through Hartlib, Moriaen tried to arrange a secret patronage deal with James Ussher, Bishop of Armagh and Primate of all Ireland. Ussher, however, turned out not to be interested. Gentius, who was planning a visit to the Middle East in the service of the Turkish Ambassador to the Netherlands, was also seen as a possible means of contact with the Caraites, despite Rittangel's characteristic warning that no one else would be able to win their trust in the way that he had.[71] There was even talk of Rittangel's joining him to provide an introduction, but again nothing came of this. On his return from Constantinople after a visit of no less than eight years, Gentius pursued a career as diplomat and interpreter in the service of Johann Georg of Saxony, with no further involvement in such schemes.

By at least 1647, Moriaen had become acquainted with another Hebraist, the Dutch patrician Adam Boreel, who he suggested might be better suited <47> than Rittangel to provide the bridge of learning and correspondency that would span the gulf of mutual ignorance separating the two religions.[72] The only problem was that he was expensive.

In fact, Boreel was already known to the circle. A letter from Dury to Hartlib of 31 August 1646 contains extensive details about him, which have been summarised by Popkin in his study of Christian-Jewish contacts in Amsterdam.[73] Boreel, according to Dury, had supported the Amsterdam Rabbi Jacob Jehuda Leon while the latter produced an exact scale model of the Temple of Solomon according to the specifications in Ezra, a model which subsequently brought Leon considerable fame (and profit) and provided a popular attraction as he took to going on tour with it and charging fees for viewings. Its fame was such that Leon became known by the pseudonym 'Templo'. Boreel learned Portuguese in order to be able to communicate with Leon, who did not speak Latin, and elicited his help in producing a punctuated and annotated edition of the Mishna, or Jewish Oral Law, which was published not under Boreel's (or Leon's) name, but that of Joseph ben Israel, with a preface by his brother Menasseh, 'because if it should bee put forth under the name, or by the Industrie of any Christian, it would not bee of Credit amongst them [the Jews]'.[74] It was Boreel's intention to produce similar versions of other sacred Jewish texts, and also Latin translations for the benefit of Christian scholars, and Spanish ones for the benefit of European Jews who did not know Latin or Hebrew. Boreel had also, apparently, produced a treatise

to demonstrat the Divinitie of the Histories of the New testament by all the Arguments by which they [the Jews] beleeue the old testament to be deliuered by God unto their nation.[75]

This was precisely the sort of labour Dury and Hartlib hoped their College of Jewish Studies might promote: Dury was most anxious to see state funding provided 'that this man & such as are qualified in this kind might bee sent for & employed in these workes wherunto God hath eminently fitted them'. For

no doubt the tyme doth draw near of their Calling; & these preparatifs are cleer presages of the purpose of God in this worke for when hee doth beginne to fitte meanes for the discouerie of their errors <&> for the Manifestation of the Truth of Christianitie […] it is a cleer token that hee intends to take the vaile from of their faces.[76]

This letter of Dury's provides an excellent example of the essentially colonialist attitude adopted towards the Jews by those Christians who are frequently termed 'philo-Semites'. This expression is semantic nonsense on at least two counts. Firstly, their attention was directed not at Semites in general but at Jews in particular. The absurd use of the word 'Semite' to mean 'Jew' can only stem from an uneasy sense that the word 'Jew' is a term of abuse, and, paradoxically, can only enhance the potential for the word 'Jew' to be used as such.[77] This objection is avoided by the term 'philo-Judaism', which has less to be said against it. But although it is true that genuine friendships between Jews and Christians did occur, and there were a number of Christian scholars with a real interest in and extensive knowledge <48> of Jewish culture, the motive force on the Christian side behind such interests and such friendships was almost invariably the desire to convert. Unless love (the Greek phileein, whence the prefix philo-) is understood as the desire to annihilate the individuality of the beloved, it does not provide a very good account of the type of relationship envisaged by the 'philo-Judaists'.

The purpose of Boreel's work on the Mishna, as Dury described it, was

that the Common sort of Iewes might know what the Constitutions of their Religion is, & also that the Learned sort of Christians upon the same discouerie might bee able to know how to deale with them for their Conuiction [i.e. conversion].[78]

So far as the Christians were concerned, Jewish-Christian relations were a strictly one-way traffic, the Jews constituting the object of attention and the Christians being the people who did all the studying, all the proselytising and all the persuading. The Jews were viewed as raw material that the Christians might mould into their own image.

The proprietorial tone so noticeable in Moriaen's mention of 'mein Hebræus' is still more marked in Dury's letter on Boreel. Leon is referred to as 'his Iewe' and 'The Iewe which hee made use of'.[79] My point in stressing this is not to condemn Dury, Moriaen and their ilk for an attitude that to them would have seemed self-evidently right and to call for no justification; it is rather to urge that that attitude be recognised for what it was, intellectual colonialism, and not mistaken for an early form of liberalism or humanism.

Technology Transfer

In the late 1640s, Moriaen's financial situation was deteriorating. In letters to both van Assche and Hartlib he bemoaned the declining value of his West India Company shares.[80] By the end of 1647, he was complaining bitterly about the expense of receiving so many letters (for at this period postage was charged to the addressee, not the sender), and especially about the exorbitant charges levied on those from England: he was spending as much on correspondence, he claimed, as on household necessaries.[81] In February 1648 he was pursuing his various debtors, and particularly asking Hartlib's help in persuading Christian Rave, who was then in England, to settle up with him.

The precise cause of this collapse is not altogether clear. Moriaen himself repeatedly put it down to his excessive Christian charity: 'I have indeed, as my friends maintain, if judged by outward appearances and worldly wisdom, acted according to the proverb and "used myself up in serving others"'.[82] This is not mere specious self-justification. Moriaen genuinely was given to loaning large sums without security, and he did lose by it. Comenius benefited for several years from an interest-free loan of 100 Imperials.[83] Moriaen's friend Budæus died owing him 1000 guilders (about £100).[84] His support for Rittangel, despite his personal antipathy to the man, has already been mentioned. 1644 saw him prepared to loan an unnamed friend 'another 2000 thalers'. He complained that 'this was very difficult for me, but not wishing to abandon him I had resolved to help him',[85] though on this occasion a brother-in-law (probably de Bra) relieved him of this burden. In <49> early 1647 he was supporting a son of his friend Matthias Merian, who was apprenticed to an Amsterdam engraver, and wrote with obvious embarrassment that this was proving something of a financial strain on him.[86] Christian Rave owed him something in the region of 300 guilders.[87] Visited by the somewhat shady English inventor William Wheeler[88] in 1650, Moriaen went so far as to borrow £13 himself in order that he might lend it to Wheeler: a fortnight's loan was agreed on, but six months later he had still not seen his money.[89]

This all adds up to evidence that Moriaen was not merely indulging in pious rhetoric in his frequently repeated assertion that it is more blessed to give than to receive. However, it was also at this period that he became deeply involved in an assortment of expensive alchemical projects, together with the German natural philosophers J.R. Glauber, J.S. Kuffler and Antony Grill, the English Benjamin Worsley and (possibly) the American George Starkey. While these undertakings, which will be considered in detail in Chapter Seven, were probably not the initial cause of his financial decline, they certainly set the seal on it. Things took an abrupt turn for the worse in 1650, when he declared himself virtually ruined:

faced with such unbearable damage and loss, I must seriously consider and diligently busy myself with the question of how to set my affairs in order before I die, and thus retain and redeem my good name, which next to my good conscience is my greatest treasure on earth.[90]

It may well have been this reversal of fortune that moved Moriaen to set himself up at just this time as an informal agent for technologists and inventors, finding many of his customers through Hartlib. He presumably received a commission for his pains, and this may have helped him keep his head above water.

Moriaen's various contacts with the scientific communities of Germany and the Netherlands, cultivated at least since his days in Cologne, made him a valuable source of news and personal introductions, promoting the very considerable input from mainland Europe to English science and technology. Especially under the Commonwealth and Protectorate, England seemed a promising location for the professional freelance inventor. The new regime was eager to promote technological advance, and showed every sign of being favourably disposed to Hartlib's schemes for State-sponsored promotion of such inventors and projectors.

In the event, the assorted and ultimately fatal teething troubles of the new Republic meant that these worthy intentions were seldom translated into practical measures and hard cash, but Hartlib was not to be daunted. After repeated disappointments during the reign of Oliver Cromwell, he saw new hope in his son and successor Richard. Eleven days after the former's death, he wrote to Boyle that 'I suppose, that his Highness, that now is, will perhaps more favour designs of such a nature, than his deceased father, otherwise of very glorious memory'.[91] Boyle apparently shared the view: Hartlib a little later declared himself 'wondrous glad, that you have written of the present protector's intentions for countenancing and advancing of universal useful learning in due time'.[92] Hartlib's unquenchable optimism, as relayed by friends such as Moriaen, did much to enhance the apparent prospects and to <50> encourage the influx of foreign scientists and inventors.

The first German inventor to use Moriaen as an agent was the optician Johann Wiesel (c.1583-1662).[93] A Protestant from the Palatinate, Wiesel had moved to Augsburg by 1621, where he gained citizenship by marrying the daughter of a local craftsman, and founded what was possibly the first optical workshop in Germany to specialise in the production of telescopes and microscopes. As early as 1625, he was noted for the production of burning-mirrors, lenses and other instruments. He was 'probably the first optician in Europe to make use of a third lens - the field lens - in his microscopes to give a greater field of vision'.[94] After the Swedish occupation of Augsburg in 1632, he produced optical instruments for the Swedish King Gustavus Adolfus; by 1650 his clients included Maximilian of Bavaria and the University of Paris.[95] It may have been through Hartlib's and Moriaen's mutual friend the mathematician John Pell, who in the late 1640s was eagerly investigating developments in optics on the Continent, that Moriaen first learned of Wiesel.[96]

Through friends such as Johann Hevelius and Constantijn Huygens, but above all through Hartlib, Moriaen helped spread Wiesel's fame around northern Europe and across the water to England. It was through him that Wiesel's telescopes and microscopes first reached these shores. His customers included Hevelius himself and the cartographer Joan Blaeu on the mainland, and Robert Boyle, Benjamin Worsley and one Mr Sotherby in England.[97] He also sent news of Wiesel's newly-invented binoculars and ophthalmoscope,[98] the latter being an instrument which represented a major advance in the investigation and treatment of defects of the eye.

Moriaen must have been very useful to both Wiesel and his clients as a middle man and a trustworthy agent by way of whom the valuable and fragile instruments could be conveyed, and payment for them settled. However, as with his printing commissions from Dury, and despite his own previous experience as an optical instrument maker, he evinced a certain tendency to bungle. A telescope for Worsley reached Moriaen with one of its lenses loose, so he glued it into place with lime. This piece of well-meant interference spoiled the telescope, as the lens had to be removable in order to be kept clean. It was supposed to be kept in place by an adjustable screw. Moreover, Wiesel surmised, Moriaen had not fixed the lens into the right place. Whether Worsley managed to mend the instrument himself according to Wiesel's directions or had to send it all the way back to Augsburg to be fixed (as Wiesel offered) is not clear.[99]

The publicity material Wiesel sent through Moriaen strikingly reflects the popular attitude to microscopes and telescopes, which were recognised by relatively few for their enormous potential to expand the scope of scientific enquiry, but much more widely sought after as 'curiosities' or sources of entertainment. Boyle was regarded as exceptional in that he 'cares not for optical niceties but as they are subordinate to Natural Philosophy'.[100] Describing his microscope, for instance, Wiesel remarked not on its potential utility for medicine and science but its sensation value: 'it makes a flea as big as a turtle; whoever sees such a thing through this little instrument cannot but be truly horrified'.[101] The sort of games that could be played are suggested by Wiesel's directions for viewing a small picture at a distance through his daytime telescope in such a way as to make it appear life-size, <51> 'which it is an extraordinary pleasure to behold'.[102] However, when the client in question (possibly Worsley) tried to set up this party piece, it failed. Wiesel concluded that this was because he had specified the relevant measurements in Augsburg ells, and that English ells were different. Apparently frivolous pastimes such as these played their role alongside weightier pieces of international scientific cooperation in bringing about the standardisation of weights and measures. Wiesel, ever the pragmatist, sent over a piece of string to indicate the precise distance required.

Wiesel's telescopes and microscopes enjoyed a very high reputation in England when they began to arrive at mid-century. In time they were surpassed by native products, but as Inge Keil shows, Wiesel was imitated before he was superseded, and (as Hartlib reported to Hevelius) it was precisely the desire to outdo the German that stimulated the great English opticians such as Richard Reeve to their finest efforts.[103]

Friedrich Clodius, a Paracelsian iatrochemist who had at some point lived as a guest or lodger in Moriaen's house,[104] moved to England in 1652 with a letter of recommendation from Moriaen,[105] though he had been known to Hartlib (probably through Moriaen) at least since the previous year.[106] He at first gave the impression of living up to his personal and professional credentials so well that he gained not only the confidence of Hartlib and friends such as Boyle, but also the hand of Hartlib's daughter Mary, probably in late summer 1653. Boyle wrote fulsomely to him in congratulation: though Clodius had earlier declared he would never marry, being wedded to his chemical calling,

I cannot conclude you less a servant to philosophy, by choosing a mistress in his [Hartlib's] family; and I cannot but look upon it as an act of his grand design to oblige this nation, that he hath found this way to detain you among us.[107]

He installed himself in his father-in-law's house and converted the back kitchen into a laboratory which he used as the headquarters of his 'Chemical Council'. This was an association headed by Clodius and Kenelm Digby, with which Boyle was also involved, devoted to the production of chemical medicines and the quest for the great iatrochemical arcana, elixir, alkahest, lapis and ludus.[108] Though (as will be seen) the addition of Clodius to the family subsequently proved to be a very mixed blessing, he was certainly an important figure in the scientific community of England in the 1650s and 60s.

It was Moriaen too who recommended the multi-talented inventor J.S. Kuffler and the chemists Remeus Franck, Peter Stahl and (probably) Albert Otto Faber, all of whom settled in England between 1654 and 1661.[109] Hartlib obviously passed on Moriaen's recommendation of Stahl to Boyle, whose protégé Stahl became. He shared Boyle's house in Oxford for a time, and later gave private chemistry lessons there.[110]

Remeus Franck or Franken was an apothecary who had also lived at some point with Moriaen and moved to England in 1654, where he was given lodgings in Hartlib's household. His Nottwendige Anmerckung vnd Betrachtung Allen Gelehrten vnd wohlerfahrnen Männern/ welche die CHIRURGIAM Handhaben/ erhalten vnd derselben sich gebrauchen (Amsterdam, 1653),[111] appeared in William Rand's English translation as 'A short and easie Method of Surgery, for the curing of all fresh Wounds or <52> other Hurts' in Hartlib's Chymical, Medicinal, and Chyrurgical Addresses' of 1655. It describes five 'chirurgical balsams', which, the English version concludes, 'are to be bought of Remeus Franck, who is to be found at Mr Hartlib's house, neer Charing-cross, over against Angel Court'.[112] The content of the balsams is, of course, not specified, but the treatments Franck offered probably were a genuine advance on contemporary surgical practice, especially as applied to the poor, if only in that he stressed the importance of hygiene and advised against amputation except as a last resort. In a chilling evocation of the current state of surgery, Franck suggested that 'Governours and Magistrates' should recommend his balsams to their hospitals, not only out of charity but also because

it would prove likewise very beneficial and profitable unto themselves, when the maimed persons shall depart the sooner from the Hospitals, and the cries of the distressed shall not so long vex their ears, by reason that many violent and offensive practices of Chyrurgery, in such cases usual, shall by this Method be avoided.[113]

It would seem that Franck had previously been employed by Moriaen as a laboratory assistant, and was passed on by him to Clodius - or, possibly, he had worked for Clodius at the time the latter lived with Moriaen, and went on to join him in England. It is in any case quite clear both from Moriaen's letters and Hartlib's that he was acting under orders. Moriaen told Hartlib that he would 'send you Remeus at once, with the chirurgical balsams'[114] (that he referred to the man by his first name is in itself very suggestive of Franck's subordinate position). A few days later, Hartlib told Boyle that Clodius 'hath written for an expert ancient old laborant, which hath lived with Mr. Morian, who is like to be here very shortly'.[115] Hardly anything is known of Franck's activities in England beyond this publication and the attempted marketing of the balsams, but it would seem that this did not meet with a resounding success. Six years later, in 1660, Franck had obviously moved on (or died), and Hartlib told Winthrop,

Of the Medicinall and chyrurgicall Balsams, I could never obtain the communication [of the recipe, presumably]. But some many potts and glasses full were left at my house; but no creature comming to ask for them, they were sent back into the place from whence they came.[116]

At some point between the end of April and 16 October 1654 Moriaen moved to Arnhem,[117] where he took up residence on the estate of Hulkestein as a guest of the Kuffler brothers, who had a dye works there.[118] A possible reason for Moriaen's being invited is that in 1654 J.S. Kuffler planned to return to England as (he thought) a guest of Parliament, to demonstrate various inventions including his torpedo, or 'dreadfull Engine for the speedy & effectuall destroying of shipping in a Moment', and to discuss terms should his secrets be deemed worth purchasing. This information is preserved in a petition to Richard Cromwell giving a history of Kuffler's attempts to sell his inventions to England and the various assurances he had received, which he hoped Cromwell would honour.[119]

The Calendar of State Papers makes no mention of any such invitation <53> issued at this period, but it hardly seems likely Kuffler made the whole story up later merely to impress Richard Cromwell, who after all was singularly well placed to verify the claims. Was Kuffler perhaps misled, just as Comenius and perhaps Rittangel earlier had been,[120] by over-enthusiastic private assurances from Hartlib or his friends in Parliament that the State was well-disposed to Kuffler's project and keen for him to visit? This must remain a conjecture, as there is no firm evidence that Hartlib was in contact with Kuffler as early as May 1653.[121] According to the petition, Hartlib had 'from time to time Corresponded with yr Petitioner for applying his said Invention [the torpedo] to the use of the State of England', but there is no indication of when such correspondence began. Hartlib had, however, taken an enthusiastic interest in Kuffler's inventions since at least 1635,[122] and was certainly his main promoter in England from late 1654 onwards.

If the time spans cited in Kuffler's account are at all accurate, he must have set out for England in early or mid-1654. He had received the invitation, he claimed, shortly after May 1653, and had initially intended to set sail at once, but was prevented by a 'sicknesse which continued vpon his family for neare 12 months together'. Mid-1654 is just the end of the period during which Moriaen is known to have remained in Amsterdam. It seems likely that Moriaen, as an experienced chemist and long-standing friend of the family, was invited to become a partner in the business and to supervise the dye-works during J.S. Kuffler's absence, either on his own or together with Kuffler's brother Abraham.[123] This would have enabled Moriaen to realise some much-needed cash by selling his house in Amsterdam while still keeping a roof over his head.

Kuffler did not, however, reach England in 1654, for

being come neare to the Lands end [he] by a suddaine Tempest was driven back into the Low-Countries, where hee continued vpward of a yeare, hee being informed by some frinds of the change of the Government in England about that time, which made it not soe convenient a season […] to make his application in.[124]

There is an anomaly here, in that the 'change of government', i.e. the announcement of the Protectorate, occurred in December 1653, and it is hardly conceivable Kuffler did not hear of it until the middle of the following year. A rather likelier if not very edifying reason for this being 'not soe convenient a season' to sell arms in is that the first Anglo-Dutch War had come to an end in April 1654.

Kuffler returned to Arnhem, where a correspondent from Cleves (possibly Hübner) met both him and Moriaen in July 1655.[125] All the surviving extracts from Moriaen's letters of that year represent part of a campaign to arouse interest in England in Kuffler's inventions and to guarantee him a market should he decide to undertake the crossing again. Ideally, he hoped to interest the State itself in the person of Oliver Cromwell, and Moriaen specifically asked Hartlib to approach the Protector with these proposals.[126] Several of the letters exist in two or more versions representing different stages of Hartlib's editing, showing how he adapted a personal letter into a formal petition, mainly by dint of excising personal details (including Kuffler's name) from Moriaen's reports.


The torpedo was not, initially, the main item on offer, or at any rate not the one Moriaen was keenest to promote. The principal subject of Moriaen's publicity was Kuffler's portable ovens, in one of which, it was claimed, 2000 pounds of bread could be baked in a single day.[127] These were designed primarily for armies to take with them on campaigns, and could also be used on board ship. Moriaen also promoted a device of Kuffler's for purifying water by distillation, an operation of obvious use to a maritime nation such as England. Neither Moriaen nor Kuffler had any qualms about explaining that Kuffler had originally designed his ovens towards the end of his earlier stay in England and had intended to offer them to Charles I, but that his project had been cut short by the outbreak of the 'troubles' in 1642. As in almost every mention of them in Hartlib's papers, the 'troubles' are referred to with politic caution almost as if they had been a natural disaster which all concerned had simply weathered as best they could, having played no part at all in either their origin or outcome.

Hartlib applied himself with his customary vigour to making Kuffler's inventions known both to Cromwell and to friends such as Worsley who had influence with the managers of the State economy.[128] There was, however, dispiritingly little response. Moriaen's letters reveal a mounting frustration, and considerable tetchiness with Worsley when he expressed doubts about the viability of the water-purifier.[129] He was even more annoyed when his erstwhile protégé, Hartlib's son-in-law Clodius, turned against his old benefactor by responding to the publicity about the ovens in a decidedly luke-warm, if not positively disparaging fashion, maintaining somewhat unsubtly that he could do a great deal better himself:

Now, Sir, I am assured that my invention is of a higher order than Herr Kuffler's, and I know very well how to prove my point without spending 1000 guilders. I do not know how it comes about that I have the good fortune to understand pyrotechnics rather well. Without wishing to boast, I do not believe that there is a man in Europe who has a digesting oven that can burn longer and on fewer coals than mine.[130]

But for all his own prowess, Clodius declared himself keen to receive further details of Kuffler's method. He did not consider that he should have to pay for this, as his intention, he claimed, was to improve on the design, for Kuffler's own benefit. If Clodius was such an expert on ovens, retorted Moriaen bluntly, then why did he not present his own products to the public instead of merely passing judgment on other peoples'? Moriaen may well have had a gullible side to his character, but in this instance he did not fail to draw the obvious inference; nor did he balk at telling Clodius precisely what he thought of such behaviour: 'should I take for myself [the fruits of] another man's sweat and labour? Far be it from me'.[131]

This was precisely the attitude that so bedevilled Hartlib's attempts to institute mechanisms for the dissemination of knowledge. For people to be willing to communicate their discoveries, they had to be guaranteed a just recompense for their labour and ingenuity, yet such guarantees became impossible as soon as the knowledge was in the public domain. The security provided by a patent, assuming one could be obtained, was largely theoretical, and Kuffler remarked through Moriaen that he could see little point in taking <55> the necessary trouble, especially not when a product was being pitched at the State as a whole rather than at private individuals.[132] Very few patents were issued under the Protectorate anyway, thanks to a backlash against the notion of monopolies.[133] Moreover, patent law was in many respects antithetical to the Hartlibian ideal of the free dissemination of learning and inventions in the interest of the common good.[134] The problem remained, however, of securing the rewards for ingenuity that both justice and expediency demanded. Moriaen's ideal (if rather naive) solution would seem to have been self-regulation by an honest and God-fearing populace, and to see that ideal being undermined by his own protégé must have been a bitter pill to swallow.

The first mention of Kuffler's torpedo occurs in July 1655, some months after Moriaen had begun promoting the ovens. This was probably (like many of the Kufflers' projects) a development of an invention originally made by Drebbel, whose torpedo designed for Charles I had been used with some success at the siege of La Rochelle in 1626-8.[135] Moriaen had grave qualms about recommending a project explicitly designed to inflict death and destruction, but tried to reassure himself that its deterrent value would make it an instrument of peace rather than war, even managing to find Scriptural authority for the view:

And I look on the matter in this light, that it will rather serve to prevent bloodletting than to spill blood. For as Scripture itself reminds us, no one goes so thoughtlessly into battle, but that he first considers his own and his enemy's might, and whether he may prevail against it. If not, he sends to him from afar and sues for peace.[136]

In the event, it was the torpedo that aroused most interest from the English authorities, and Moriaen's continuing unease about the invention reveals that he had not succeeded in convincing himself on this point.

Eventually, Kuffler set out again in the first half of 1656,[137] despite not having received the assurances he had hoped for that the journey would be made worth his while, and was joined in the summer by his family (this time definitely including Abraham, who died in London the following year).[138]

On arriving in England, Kuffler was at once, like almost all the technologists recommended by Moriaen who crossed to this country, given hospitality, encouragement and practical assistance by Hartlib and his friends. Hartlib arranged a loan of £100 from his friend the Puritan educationalist Ezerell Tonge, while Hartlib at the same time committed himself in a legal document to

produce in writing & deliver vnto the said Mr. Tonge, such Testimonialls concerning Dr. Küffeler his abilities […&] concerning the reality & certaintie of the Experiments […] as shall vnto wise & indiferent men be of satisfaction.[139]

It was no doubt to fulfil this requirement that about three weeks later Moriaen sent over a fulsome testimonial for Kuffler, which Hartlib had translated into English.[140] The idea was evidently that Hartlib's petitioning on Kuffler's behalf could be expected to yield such results as would make Tonge's £100 a safe investment. Hartlib further promised that he would


diligently attend & sollicite his Highnesse [Cromwell], the Councill, the Secretary of Estate, & such other Persons, & use such other meanes, that may most probably bringe the said Experiments to their desired effect, for the benefitt of this Commonwealth.[141]

Tonge for his part was at the time a prime mover in schemes for a new college at Durham, which it was hoped would become a third university, and which was to promote the Hartlibian ethos of 'useful knowledge', with a strong emphasis on such subjects as husbandry, medicine and chemistry, at once spreading learning and true religion to the remoter provinces, and breaking the stranglehold of the traditional academics at Oxford and Cambridge on the nation's intellectual life.[142] When the college obtained its charter, with Oliver Cromwell's blessing, in 1657, the senior appointments consisted almost exclusively of Hartlib's associates and protégés. Tonge featured as a schoolmaster and fellow, and Kuffler as a professor, presumably of medicine and/or chemistry.[143] However, he never occupied his chair, apparently preferring to pursue the promotion of his various inventions. Events proved him wise, since after the Protector's death, Richard Cromwell (for all the hopes invested by Hartlib and Boyle in him as a patron of learning) bowed meekly to pressure from the established universities and declined to grant Durham equal status. After a promising start, the new college faded quickly into oblivion.[144]

Hartlib introduced Kuffler to Cromwell around the beginning of 1657, but beyond Kuffler's being 'received in friendly fashion' ('freundlich empfangen') by the Protector,[145] nothing seems to have come of the meeting. At some point that year he also set up a maltings (for whatever else Kuffler may have been, he was certainly resourceful), but again without any apparent success.[146] Not until 13 May 1658, some two years after his arrival, was he finally given an opportunity to demonstrate his torpedo. Moriaen, Hartlib, Boyle and Brereton all waited in mildly horrified anticipation to see what the outcome would be; Brereton at least was present at the display, which took place at Woolwich. Moriaen, as Hartlib told Boyle, hoped that Kuffler 'may not blow up a good conscience to get riches by such means'.[147] The demonstration, in the event, was a failure, a fact Moriaen attributed to divine disapproval: 'it may be, then, that God is not pleased with this undertaking and therefore prevents its success'.[148] Boyle apparently shared these misgivings, for Moriaen added a few weeks later, 'I am of one mind with Mr Boyle, and should rather recommend and wish well to any undertaking but this'.[149] Kuffler would never have become engaged in such an enterprise, he repeatedly stressed, if not driven by financial extremity. Hartlib, indeed, seems to have been rather keener than most of his correspondents to see this warlike device promoted, so long at least as it was to remain in the hands of the godly nation he had made his home.[150]

A second demonstration, however, which took place at Deptford on 4 August 1658, was by all accounts a spectacular success. According to an anonymous German report in Hartlib's papers, the torpedo immediately blew a breach of over nine yards in the ship it was aimed at, sinking it instantly. The writer described it as a 'splendid arcanum for the destruction of humankind', claiming it could also be used on land to annihilate entire regiments at a stroke, and that 'it seems to have been granted the English by a <57> wondrous providence'.[151] A few days later, Hartlib mentioned to Boyle that 'Dr Kuffler was with me on Monday, telling in what words you had congratulated the success of his terrible destroying invention'.[152] Moriaen's earlier remarks would seem to suggest that these words were not entirely approbatory.

According to Kuffler's later petition to Richard Cromwell, the Protector was so impressed with this devastating device, which as Hartlib put it would 'enable any one Nation that should bee first Master of it, to give the Laws to other Nations at Sea',[153] that he offered the truly magnificent sum of ten thousand pounds for it, £5000 for the proof and a further £5000 for a full revelation.[154] Cromwell having died the following month, however, the matter had been left in abeyance, and the purpose of Kuffler's petition was to claim the £5000 he was owed and renew the offer of full disclosure for a further £5000. This contrasts rather dramatically with the remark made twice by Moriaen that he had been offered £1000 for a demonstration and a further £1000 for a full revelation, Moriaen's opinion being that he should settle for the one thousand and consign the horrible secret to oblivion.[155]

Whatever the true figure Kuffler had been offered, Richard Cromwell proved no more scrupulous about honouring his late father's promises in the case of the torpedo than in that of Durham College. Kuffler never did receive his award, and as Moriaen and Boyle had hoped, the workings of the 'terrible destroying invention' were never revealed. Subsequent approaches to Charles II, though they did lead to an preliminary inspection by Pepys, also remained fruitless.[156] By April 1659, Hartlib was trying to secure Kuffler a post as physician to Boyle's elder brother Lord Broghill, for 'now he dares not go upon the streets to follow his business, for fear of being arrested. But such a protection would save him from all his creditors'.[157] Kuffler was now engaged on yet another new project, involving fertilisers, and Hartlib played adroitly on Boyle's moral unease about the earlier scheme: if Kuffler could find sponsorship for his agricultural plans, 'he would willingly desist from all eager pursuits about his dreadful and destroying machine'.[158]

Thanks probably to this or a similar petition from Hartlib, Kuffler managed to weather the storm. Though Hartlib was still complaining as late as March 1660 that he could not prevail upon the state to take the interest it should in any of Kuffler's proposals,[159] he seems to have found a sufficient private market for his dyes, fertilisers and ovens to get by. He was still making, or at least displaying, his ovens in 1666, at the age of over seventy: John Evelyn on 1 August that year 'went to Dr. Keffler […] to see his yron ovens, made portable (formerly) for the Pr. of Orange's army'[160]

However various, and in many cases limited, the success of these inventors may have been from a personal point of view, their practical and theoretical expertise represented an important contribution to intellectual life and technological advance in England. Throughout the 1650s, Moriaen, in his discreet fashion, was a principal instigator and conveyor of such contributions. While the distasteful but unavoidable subject of money frequently came to the fore and hindered or compromised the ideal of a 'free and generous communication', communication there certainly was, and he and Hartlib between them were a major channel for it.


The Godly Entrepreneur

The estate of Hulkestein, where Moriaen was now settled, did not belong to the Kufflers. The fragmentary accounts of the estate in the Rijksarchief, Arnhem show that from 1599 to 1666 it belonged to the van de Sande family, whence it passed to a nephew, Johan Brantsen.[161] There is no mention in the surviving records of either Kuffler or Moriaen, nor of the dye works. Kuffler rented Hulkestein, and in his absence, Moriaen was standing surety for him.[162] How Moriaen was able to stand this surety, if he was as destitute as he claimed, is a moot point. Poverty short of outright starvation is a relative concept, and there is no suggestion he was starving: he even got by until 1658 without selling his West India shares. But he was certainly no longer in the condition to which he had been accustomed, and was in a state of constant anxiety as he waited to hear news of Kuffler's success in England.

The suggestion that Moriaen had gone to Arnhem to superintend, and indeed probably to take a share in, the Kufflers' dye-works is supported by Moriaen's at first referring to it as 'our dye-works' ('unßere färbereÿ'), presumably meaning his and the Kufflers'. By the beginning of 1658, this had run into the doldrums, and Moriaen had consequently had no income whatsoever since the previous September, when the merchant he had been dealing with had declined to renew his contract.[163] He put his failure on the market down to his inability to dye in more than one colour (probably the 'Bow scarlet' the Kufflers had imported into the Netherlands from their father-in-law Drebbel's dye-works at Stratford-le-Bow). However, he was unable to find anyone who could teach him to branch out, until a young Nürnberger happened by on his way from England offering to teach him all the arts of dyeing at a remarkably low rate (less than 12 Imperials). Moriaen was immediately moved to stake all his remaining money and any more he could by any means raise on relaunching the business. This latest piece of improvidence was enough to move Odilia Moriaen to emerge for once from the historical shadows by protesting about it strongly enough for her husband to consider it worth mentioning her qualms to Hartlib. Even after he had lectured her on the manifest operation of the hand of God in the matter, he had to admit that he won her 'consent' only with difficulty.[164]

From this point in the letters onwards, 'our dye-works' becomes 'my dye-works', suggesting that Kuffler had abandoned what appeared to be a sinking ship, perhaps handing over his stake in the business to Moriaen in lieu of his debts to him. He may already have resolved to settle again in England, this time for good. It is impossible, however, to be certain exactly what the financial arrangements were, as no documents have survived and Moriaen's letters are extremely vague about such details.

Virtually nothing else is revealed of the Nürnberg master dyer, who remains nameless and is hardly mentioned again: though Moriaen originally envisaged sharing the profits with him, it seems the young man simply sold his expertise and went on his way. Presumably Hartlib (himself the son of a dye-works owner) had met him in England and suggested he visit Moriaen, for Moriaen expressed his effusive thanks to God and Hartlib in roughly equal proportions. This is characteristic of their providential view of things: Moriaen could, with the utmost seriousness, see the encounter as a clear indication that God was guiding his affairs and also view Hartlib as God's chosen instrument. In the <59> philosophical terms of the day, Hartlib was a 'secondary cause', and amply deserved recognition as such, but the prime mover in all matters was God. It is a clearer manifestation of the attitude earlier taken to the intelligence his circle received from Hartlib on the eve of the Civil Wars, 'for which we are grateful to God and Your Honour'.[165] Similarly, when Dury reached England in time for Comenius's arrival in 1641, it must have been obvious that the immediate impulse for his coming (as for Comenius's) was an urgent summons from Hartlib, but Moriaen still saw their coming together as 'a singular providence of God and a good omen'.[166]

There followed a string of letters of increasing urgency and proportionately decreasing subtlety bewailing Moriaen's lack of capital resources for the venture and fear that all would fail for want of a long term loan of a mere £200. Hartlib did his best to help his friend. He told Boyle in February 1658 that he had

shot an arrow of charity at random toward Zurich [which] lighted upon our resident there Mr Pell, who hearing of his [Moriaen's] very low condition, and to have been assisted with 3 l sterling by Dr Vnmussig, ordered, that the sum of 10 l sterling, should be made over to that worthy man out of the pension, which the state doth pay him quarterly.[167]

Consequently, Hartlib added, he did not wish to press Moriaen for medicine from Glauber, lest Moriaen should suspect an ulterior motive behind Hartlib's petitioning on his behalf, or stint himself for Hartlib's sake:

if I should beg a few doses of the Glauberian medicine, Mr Morian might happily think, that I desired to be gratified this way, which truly is far from my spirit and intentions. But I am confident, if I should venture such a request upon him, he would certainly pay for the medicine whatever it should cost, out of those supplies, which have been procured, by the blessing of God, upon my hearty recommendations.[168]

Whether or not Boyle responded to the hint implicit in this story is not recorded, but many of Hartlib's friends and acquaintances did. The £3 from Unmüssig was acknowledged in August 1657.[169] Comenius, Rulice and Hartlib himself all contributed.[170] The MP and Neoplatonist thinker John Sadler was moved to send £10, asking in return only that Moriaen use his contacts in the printing industry to obtain Heinrich Bunting's rare Itinerarium sacrum for him.[171] Hartlib hoped to make Moriaen a beneficiary of his projected Council for Learning, hopes for which were constantly being revived (and re-dashed) in the late 1650s. Exactly what sort of a role Hartlib had in mind for him is unclear, but it was probably that of local agent and intelligencer. He appears, however, on none of Hartlib's surviving draft lists of prospective members of the Council.

The Council for Learning turned out to be another of Hartlib's pies in the sky, but the donations he sent or elicited seem to have been sufficient to enable Moriaen to relaunch the business with some success. Moriaen, now well into his sixties, threw himself into this small cottage industry with a religious fervour of striking intensity. Indeed, to an age accustomed to see material and spiritual gain as utterly distinct if not outright antithetical, it can <60> seem comically incongruous. There is a veritable deluge of references to 'God's gracious providence', the 'wondrous care God has for me' and the like:[172] the enterprise begins to sound more like a Bunyanesque pilgrimage than a business venture:

I am led in wondrous fashion and know not whither, but I shall follow my guide in blind obedience; let him look to it; whatever it may please him to be or to become in me, I shall be content with it.[173]

But this quasi-mystical approach is characteristically combined with a shrewd eye to a business opportunity. At one point, he announced that, despite being quite without funds or security, he had purchased all the necessary equipment and taken on an overseer and an unspecified number of hands on two-year contracts. An almost identical diatribe to the one just quoted, stressing once again that he was acting not according to human reason but 'with childish trust and in blind obedience to the hand of God that guides me',[174] is followed immediately by the remark that this was just the moment to catch the springtime orders from the local merchants before they sent their cloth to their usual dyers in the province of Holland. To Moriaen, there was manifestly no discontinuity between the two thoughts. Like his old friends the de Geers, though obviously on a far smaller scale, Moriaen might be viewed as an archetype of the godly entrepreneur.

The highly ambivalent relationship in the Dutch 'Golden Age' of a ruggedly Calvinist ethos with an economy thriving principally - and spectacularly - on trade and speculation is analysed with great wit and originality in Simon Schama's The Embarrassment of Riches. That ambivalence is encapsulated in Schama's delightful declension, 'I invest, he speculates, they gamble'.[175] Some dextrous ethical juggling was called for, Schama suggests, when unprecedented economic expansion driven largely by the manipulation and exploitation of markets coincided with a religious ethos that stressed primarily the virtues of penitence and self-denial, while the culture of the 'self-made man' sat ill with Calvinist notions of predestination. Christ's warnings about the camel and the eye of the needle,[176] about the rich man and Lazarus,[177] could not easily be ignored in such a society. Against these, however, could be set the parable of the talents,[178] or the injunction to cast one's bread upon the waters.[179] The sin, then (or so the rationalisation went), was not to make money but to hoard it: the root of all evil is not money itself but the love of it.[180] Furthermore, disposable income provided a means of performing those good works that could not possibly guarantee membership of the elect but might very well be a sign of it. Conspicuous expenditure, wise investment and public philanthropy became, according to Schama, the standard strategies by which the wealthy Dutch, and especially those who were becoming wealthier, sought to square their ethos with their income.

The level of Moriaen's expenditure is not ascertainable, but by 1651, for all his claims of impecunity, he was living on the Princengracht, in one of the grand new buildings that still distinguish Amsterdam three and a half centuries later with their imposing blend of opulence and sobriety, embodiments of the conflicting ideals of the godly entrepreneur.[181] As he later ruefully remarked, 'time was I was myself well provided-for'.[182] He collected Oriental <61> manuscripts and other rarities; he was able in the 1640s to leave home on tours lasting weeks or months; he could offer substantial loans to Comenius, Rave and others, and he could risk very considerable sums on speculative alchemical ventures.[183]

One of many tightropes the godly entrepreneur had to walk was that of accepting what Schama calls the 'providentially distributed opulence' of high return on a risky investment[184] without falling into the sin of improvident gambling. For all the time he had spent in Cologne warning parishioners such as Kuiper against the evil of games of chance, Moriaen seems to have taken a fairly elastic view of the distinction. Fishing and, especially, whaling, which appear to have represented his major investments in his early Amsterdam years at least, were notoriously high-risk ventures, with potential profits running high but a fair risk of total loss, partly on account of the inherent dangerousness of the activity, partly because of the ceaseless depredations of privateers. The same willingness to run risks is abundantly evident in his venture with the dye-works.

Of all the rationales for making money, directing it into good works naturally represented the least morally complicated. A man earning ten thousand Imperials a year could contribute more, quantitatively, to the public weal with ten percent of his income than a man earning one thousand could with fifty percent of his. The widow's mite was not, of course, to be despised, but it was still only a mite.

The attitude of Louis de Geer to the getting and redistributing of worldly wealth provides a striking insight into the mentality of the godly entrepreneur. De Geer declined to take out insurance on any of his ships or family, giving the equivalent sums instead to charity, principally to the refugees from the Palatinate and the Spanish Netherlands. Moriaen remarked that the poor 'share proportionately in his profit'.[185] Milada Blekastad suggests that by this means de Geer had 'bought himself God's grace in dangerous undertakings'.[186] This, however, is something of an over-simplification. It should not be supposed de Geer was trying to strike a deal with God. He knew very well that any covenants between Creator and creature were for the former alone to draw up. The gesture was more one of proffered sacrifice, for the Lord to take or not as he saw fit. When in due course de Geer was relieved of nine ships to the value of some fifty thousand guilders,[187] his reaction was probably very like that of Moriaen after his crash in the late 1640s: personal distress and concern for his dependents, tempered by acquiescence to God's will and a patient willingness to watch and wait until divine Providence should offer an opportunity to recoup the loss and resume the former works of charity. Job provided a precedent at once cautionary and reassuring.

Once Moriaen had launched his new dye-works, he promptly returned to a favoured charitable practice of his age, the dispensing of medicine. He was delighted to acquire as a nearish neighbour in Arnhem the Paracelsian iatrochemist André Niclaus Bonet, personal physician to the Elector of Brandenburg. Thanks to the ten pounds Hartlib had procured him from Sadler, he wrote in June 1658, he had been able to buy coals and set up a cauldron, so that 'next week I can and must help those people who have waited a long time now for our aid, but whom for want of a cauldron we have not been able to help'.[188] While it is unclear what exactly Moriaen was cooking up in his philanthropic cauldron, the likeliest explanation by far is <62> some sort of chemical medicine, for this stress on 'helping many' seems to rule out the possibility of its being merely a part of the dyeing equipment. In July 1658, Moriaen approached Bonet for advice and assistance, 'for several patients afflicted with the falling sickness [epilepsy] have applied to me'.[189] This is an unequivocal indication that he was operating some sort of medical practice alongside his dye-works.

There is a hiatus in the surviving holograph letters between July 1658 and January 1662, though it is obvious the two men remained in touch,[190] so no personal account of Moriaen's affairs during this period is available, but numerous remarks from other sources suggest that his circumstances were at least comfortable again by early 1659. The clearest indication of this is that he went some way to returning the favours the now increasingly hard-pressed Hartlib had shown him, sending £3 8s. through his nephew Jan Abeel on 18 April 1659,[191] and another £3 in March 1661.[192] Already by February 1659 he was in a position to send the overseer of his works to Amsterdam on business, and the following month was considering having a special 'optical lantern' made for himself.[193] In mid-1659 he revisited Amsterdam at least twice, lodging at Glauber's house,[194] which suggests that the dye-works was running well enough for him to entrust it to the supervision of his employees and/or his wife. The physician, alchemist and diplomat Friedrich Kretschmar, who met him during this stay in the capital, thought him 'stattlich':[195] an ambiguously complimentary term tending to suggest an air of prosperity. In March 1660, Hartlib strongly implied an upturn in his fortunes, and neatly epitomised the image of the godly entrepreneur, when he told John Winthrop that

Honest Mr Morian is still alive not far from Arnheim, having erected a new dying of colours in grain &c whereby he maintains himself and hopes to prosper in time to be able to serve the good of many.[196]

A measure of financial security thus recovered, Moriaen must have been free to redouble his interests in optics, alchemy and chemical medicine, the main themes of the fragmentary remains of his letters of 1659. He was particularly concerned to find someone who might provide relief for Hartlib, who by this point was in continual agony from what he described as 'my three most tormenting diseases',[197] to wit haemorrhoids, what he took to be an ulcer either of the bladder or the testicles, and what he took to be a stone either in the liver or the kidneys. In his last years, he was taking increasingly desperate remedies for an increasingly desperate condition, and there can be little doubt that many of his treatments did him more harm than the ailments themselves. Peter Stahl, a chemist and iatrochemist who was shortly to come to England armed with a recommendation from Moriaen,[198] sent over some 'spirit of salt' (hydrochloric acid) for Hartlib's treatment which the patient was distressed to find had a tendency to dissolve the glass bottles it was kept in. What worried Hartlib seems to have been the fact that he had consequently lost a substantial amount of the medicine, not the thought of what it was doing to his innards.[199] Poleman was having made for him a whalebone catheter through which he might painlessly (Poleman claimed) inject into his bladder an acid distilled from four to five week old urine, in order to dissolve the stone.[200] In December 1661, Moriaen's young friend Albert Otto Faber[201] <63> moved to England armed with a variety of treatments for Hartlib. He presented him with an amulet made from a urine-moistened cloth rubbed in 'sympathetic powder', a 'Primum Ens des Saurbrunnens' ('primary essence of the mineral spring') to be taken in beer or Spanish wine on an empty stomach, and 'a pound of the true ludus Paracelsi, such as is to be found in Antwerp according to Helmont's directions, and which I was given by Moriaen'.[202]

The last surviving letter of the correspondence, which probably is indeed the last that Hartlib received from his old friend, makes melancholy reading. It is dated January 1662 and suggests that Moriaen may have contributed - indirectly and inadvertently but probably mercifully - to Hartlib's death. Hartlib had received, obviously through Moriaen's recommendation, a medicine from one 'Herr Kreußner', who is mentioned nowhere else in the papers and of whom I can find no other trace. Nor is there any indication of the medicine's content: Moriaen did not know what it consisted of, only that it had proved efficacious in other cases. All that is clear is that it was causing Hartlib even greater pain than he was accustomed to. Moriaen was embarrassed, distressed, and unable to suggest anything but prayer.[203] Two months later Hartlib was dead.

His death effectively brings to a close Moriaen's recordable history. This same last letter also contains the news that Moriaen was preparing to leave Arnhem and return to the province of Holland, but it has not been possible to ascertain whether the plan was carried out. The very manuscript of this last letter, which is badly damaged, seems to embody Moriaen's disappearance from historical record. The text becomes increasingly fragmented and illegible, finally breaking off altogether as the bottom of the paper is torn off through the middle of the last farewell. The signature is entirely missing.

The proposed move suggests perhaps that the dye-works had been successful enough for Moriaen, who was now about seventy, to retire at last on the profits, but without further evidence no definite conclusions can be drawn. What is certain is that in spite of all his complaints about his ill health and failing strength, he survived for another six years. The history of his whereabouts and activities for this period is a complete blank.

On 17 April 1668, the mathematician John Pell wrote from London to Theodore Haak in Cheshire that 'of Mr Moriaen's death I had heard nothing till now'.[204] This clearly implies that Pell had learned of the event from Haak's previous letter, while Haak must have learned of it (directly or indirectly) from a correspondent in the Netherlands. Haak and Pell were close friends of Moriaen and frequent correspondents with one another so it seems likely that this transmission of news had been fairly rapid and Moriaen's death was quite a recent event. Letters from the Netherlands usually took about a week to reach England, and a few more days must be allowed to cover the forwarding of the information from Cheshire to London. Moriaen must, then, have died in the early days of April 1668 at the very latest, but probably not very much earlier. No cause of death is mentioned.

Odilia Moriaen apparently died shortly before or after her husband. Over two years later, a downcast and ailing Haak wrote to John Winthrop in America with a catalogue of woes including the death of 'my dear wife' and

a sad traine of many other troubles to me; besides the losse of many very speciall ffrends in severall parts, & especially of that dear & worthy frend of ours Mr Moriaen, whom I had so great a Desire to have seen once more. He & his wife soon deceased one after another, & I am informed that all his goods & those many excellent curiosities & rarities he was master of were suddenly sold, distracted, scattered.[205]


Moriaen's legacy to later generations is his correspondence. During the nearly eighty years of his life, he had been closely involved with some of the leading figures in the intellectual life of the day, foremost among them Hartlib, Dury, Comenius and J.R. Glauber. He had also been acquainted with a host of figures now largely forgotten but whose ideas and activities seemed at the time hardly less important, and a knowledge of whom is essential to a full understanding of the thought of the period on its own terms. He was personally and practically involved in promoting new technology and ideas, above all the concept of Pansophy and the techniques of alchemy. His fortuitously preserved letters present a unique individual perspective on a whole mental world.

[1] 'Diese lande sindt ehrgierig vnd lieben den ruhm von gelehrten leuthen vnd nuzlichen Inventis zue haben, wie nun Ihrer viel sindt die allein die kunst lieben vnd suchen also sindt deren nicht wenig welche es ihnen eine verkleinerung halten das ein frembder etwas mehr als sie wißen vnd was newes erfinden solle' - Moriaen to Hartlib, 17 January 1639, HP 37/4A.

[2] Ibid., paraphrased in HDC, 343. Rulice had written in similar terms of Vossius's judgment a year earlier (quoted by Turnbull from HP 36/1/3B-4A).

[3] 'wan man die leuthe hatt so achtet man Ihrer nicht[;] wan sie vmbsonst arbeiten oder geltt zuegeben wolten das weren männer fur diese Statt' - Moriaen to Hartlib, 24 October 1647, HP 37.123A.

[4] Moriaen to Hartlib, 31 March 1639, HP 37/16B.

[5] 'hie hatt man freÿheit zue glauben vnd zue schreiben was man nur will oder kan' - Moriaen to Hartlib, 20 Oct. 1639, HP 37/44B. The controversies concerning Jungius and Comenius are discussed below, pp. 88-9.

[6] 2 Aug. 1640, HP 37/66B: 'So gleich iezund bekom Ich aduis das die Duynkerker mir ein Schiff dz auff den fischfang auß war abgenommen', and 27 March 1642, HP 37/106A, on the seizure of two more.

[7] Cf. Th. van Deursen, Plain Lives in a Golden Age (Cambridge, 1991), 19-22.

[8] Moriaen to Hartlib, 15 April 1642, HP 37/107A.

[9] 'Ich nun fortan all mein werkh von diesen dingen machen kan' - Moriaen to Hartlib, 31 March 1639, HP 37/15A.

[10] Gemeendearchief Arnhem, RA 513 fol. 101, 19 July 1658; it is this document that records the date of purchase.

[11] Moriaen to Hartlib, 12 August 1639, HP 37/36B-37A; the death is described as having happened since his last letter to Hartlib, which was dated 21 July. References in Correspondance de Mersenne XI, 308, 420, 421, to a 'fils de Mr. Morian' whom the editors identify as Moriaen's son are mistranscriptions: copies of the same letters in the Hartlib archive clearly read 'Merian', and the figure in question is almost certainly Matthias Merian the Younger of the Frankfurt family of printers and engravers.

[12] Moriaen to Hartlib, July 1657: 'sie würde sich hier under frembden und ganz allein ohne rath und trost von menschen befinden, niemand würde viel nach ihr umbsehen' (HP 42/2/14A)

[13] Christian Rave to Moriaen, 12 Nov. 1651, Bodleian MS Lat. misc. c.17 fol. 42: 'Tua Castiss. Uxorem et Amicos omnes meo quæso nomine diligentissime salutabis'. The only contrary evidence is the description of him, in the above-mentioned document concerning the selling back of his West India shares, as 'Iean Moriaen den ouden'. It is possible, however, that the younger 'Iean Moriaen' was not a son but the 'Cous: Ioh: Moriaen' whom 'Iean den ouden' had much earlier recommended to the care of Justinus van Assche in Amsterdam (UBA N65d, 17 January 1637, cf. n. 1). There were certainly other Moriaens in Arnhem, where he was by then living: the court ordered the paying in of debts to one 'Christina Morians', wife of the engineer and surveyor Isaac van Geelkerch, in May 1661, especially those relating to 'Moriaens erfschap' (the Moriaen inheritance) (Gemeendearchief Arnhem, RA 513, fol. 226, 6 May 1661). There was also a 'Haus Moriaen' in the centre of the town, though Johann was not living there. Unfortunately, the records are so fragmentary (and, in the case of the legal documents, in such an appallingly bad scribal hand) that no more can be deduced about this Christina and her inheritance, nor what connection Moriaen had with the house that bore his family's name.

[14] See J. Bruckner, A Bibliographical Catalogue of Seventeenth-Century German Books Published in Holland (The Hague and Paris, 1971), passim.

[15] Bruckner, no. 167. Bruckner somewhat mystifyingly gives Samuel Hartlib as the author.

[16] On 5 Nov. 1640 Moriaen promised to obtain unspecified works by Boehme for Haak, and by Felgenhauer and Kozack for Hartlib (HP 37/70A). On Felgenhauer, see below, pp. 87-8; on Kozack, Jöcher II, 2154; van der Wall, Serrarius, 105-7, and Blekastad, Comenius, 340, 350, 378-9. Hartlib received four unspecified works of Kozack from Moriaen the following January (Hartlib's accounts, HP 23/12/2B), and there is a partial manuscript copy of Kozack's Liber Spagyriæ at HP 25/20/1A-44B.

[17] Moriaen to Hartlib, 3 November 1639, HP 37/46A.

[18] As late as July 1650, Moriaen was still complaining that Oughtred was failing to send material for the edition that had first been proposed at least ten years earlier (HP 37/164A). The work finally came out in 1652 in Oxford.

[19] Moriaen to Hartlib, 7 March 1639, HP 37/10B. This work, mentioned several times in Moriaen's correspondence, is almost certainly the unattributed Latin 'Idea Politicæ' preserved in a scribal copy at HP 26/24/1A-8B,, in the form of a letter to Hartlib dated 1 July 1638.

[20] Moriaen to Hartlib, 30 June 1639, HP 37/31A. The Analysis demonstrativa, which survives in manuscript, is discussed in some detail below, pp. 118-20.

[21] HP 37/21A, 31A, 36B, 100A.

[22] Wing, no. 2907B: the edition listed is dated Edinburgh, 1659. Moriaen's came out in August 1639 (as he told Hartlib on 12 August, HP 37/36B).

[23] 'Ich kan zwar nicht absehen was so viel verscheidene zue einem zweckh gerichtete schreiben nuzen können' - Moriaen to Hartlib, 12 Aug. 1639, HP 37/36B.

[24] Milton, 'The Unchanged Peacemaker?', 109-10, and see Dury to Hartlib, 31 March 1640, HP 2/2/10A. Milton also refers to the business of the impounded pamphlets, but with the minor error of assuming it was Dury himself who sent them into England.

[25] Moriaen to Hartlib, 12 March 1640, HP 37/60A.

[26] Ibid.

[27] Ibid. - 'so hatt das kind einen vnrechten nahmen bekommen vnd sind das dan so schröckliche sachen? ist doch niemand dabej verkurzet, Ich kan mir fast nicht einbilden das die Bischoffe dißfals beÿ einigen verständigen Politico beÿfall ihres vnzeitigen eÿfers (die materiam betreffend) finden werden'.

[28] Dury to Hartlib, 31 March 1640, HP 2/2/10A.

[29] Sic, probably a scribal error.

[30] Dury to Warwick (scribal copy), 1 May 1640, HP 6/4/46A.

[31] Dury to Hartlib, 18 Sept. 1642, HP 2/9/24A, n.d. but obviously slightly earlier, HP 2/9/17A, and 16 Oct. 1642, HP 2/9/34B.

[32] Dury to Hartlib, 23 Oct. 1642, HP 2/9/39B; it is quite obvious from the context of earlier letters that this 'Epistolical Dissertation' is the Answer to the Lutherans.

[33] Moriaen to Hartlib, 30 Oct. 1642, HP 37/115A.

[34] Dury to Hartlib, 31 Aug. 1646, HP 3/3/32A. For the 'somethinge extraordinarie' Dury had in mind, see below, pp. 43-4.

[35] HP 37/3A and 37/167A.

[36] Moriaen to Hartlib, July 1650, HP 37/164A.

[37] Serrarius to Dury, in An Information concerning the Present State of the Jewish Nation in Europe and Judea, by Dury and/or Henry Jessey (London, 1658), 13; cit. van der Wall, Serrarius, 182.

[38] See van der Wall, 'The Amsterdam Millenarian Petrus Serrarius (1600-1669) and the Anglo-Dutch Circle of Philo-Judaists', Jewish-Christian Relations in the Seventeenth Century, ed. J. van den Berg and E.G.E. van der Wall (Dordrecht, Boston and London, 1988), 73-94, pp. 90-94, and Gershom Scholem, Sabbatai Sevi, The Mystical Messiah 1626-76 (London, 1973).

[39] An Information, 2, cit. van der Wall, 'The Amsterdam Millenarian Petrus Serrarius', 80.

[40] Richard Popkin, 'Hartlib, Dury and the Jews', SHUR, 118-36, p. 132; and see ibid., 130-32 for a fuller account of Shapira's visit and relations with Dury's circle. Shapira had come to Amsterdam intending to raise money from the Jewish community, but had been turned down by them, providing the Christians with an opportunity to outdo them in charity.

[41] Moriaen to van Assche, 9 May 1643, UBA N65g, and see van der Wall, Serrarius, 159-60.

[42] As prophesied in Jeremiah 15:4: 'I will cause them to be removed into all kingdoms of the earth'.

[43] See Popkin, 'Hartlib, Dury and the Jews', 125-7.

[44] Ibid., 126.

[45] See Webster, Great Instauration, 222-24.

[46] See Popkin, 'Hartlib, Dury and the Jews', 123-4, and 'Some Aspects of Jewish-Christian Theological Interchanges in Holland and England 1640-70', in J. van den Berg and E.G.E van der Wall (eds.), Jewish-Christian Relations in the Seventeenth Century (Dordrecht, Boston and London, 1988), 3-32.

[47] Cf. van der Wall, 'Three letters by Menasseh ben Israel to John Durie', Nederlands Archief voor Kerkgeschiedenis 65 (1985), 46-62. For a succinct account of Menasseh's (unsuccessful) mission, see J. Crossley and R.C. Christie (eds.), The Diary and Correspondence of Dr John Worthington (2 vols., the second being in two parts): vols. 13 (1847), 36 (1855) and 114 (1886) of Chetham Society Remains, I, 78, n. 1.

[48] 7 Oct. 1650, HP 37/159B.

[49] HP 37/153A and 159B.

[50] HP 4/3/2A.

[51] Dury, 'Epistolicall Discourse' prefacing Thomas Thorowgood, Jewes in America (London, 1650), cit. E.G.E. van der Wall, 'Johann Stephan Rittangel's Stay in the Dutch Republic (1641-1642)', in J. van den Berg and E.G.E. van der Wall (eds.), Jewish-Christian Relations in the Seventeenth Century (Dordrecht, Boston and London, 1988), 119-34, p. 120.

[52] Moriaen to Hartlib, 19 April 1639, HP 37/21B.

[53] 'seine Gegner selbst haben ihm nie solches vorgeworfen' - Jöcher-Adelung VII, 30-32.

[54] See below, p. 129.

[55] Dury and/or Hartlib?, Englands Thankfulnesse, or An Humble Remembrance presented to the Committee for Religion in the High Court of Parliament (London, 1642): for full title, see HDC, 90.

[56] 'das Er von dem herrn durch nicht vbersendung seiner sachen nun wiederumb wie dorten werde auffgehalten werden' - Moriaen to Hartlib, 22 May 1642, HP 37/109A.

[57] Moriaen to Hartlib, 10 Feb. and 27 March 1642, HP 37/102A and 106A.

[58] Hartlib to Worthington, 12 Dec. 1655, Worthington Diary I, 79. See J. van den Berg, 'Proto-Protestants? The Image of the Karaites as a Mirror of the Catholic-Protestant Controversy in the Seventeenth Century', Jewish-Christian Relations in the Seventeenth Century, ed. J. van den Berg and E.G.E. van der Wall, 33-50.

[59] HP 1/33/62A-63B, copy enclosed with a letter from Cyprian Kinner to Hartlib.

[60] See Encyclopædia Judaica X, 507-8 (under the heading 'Kabbalah').

[61] 'bin woll versichert das der gleichen secreta Rabinorum sonderlich doctrinam de Triunitate belangend zuevorn niemalen ans liecht kommen sind, vnd trage gleichfals keinen zweÿfel man wird seiner arbeit so woll gegen die Anti Trinitarios als Iudæos nuzlich gebrauchen können' - Moriaen to Hartlib, 27 March 1642, HP 37/106A.

[62] Letters from Moriaen of 10 Feb. and 3 March 1642, HP 37/102A and 105A.

[63] Moriaen to Hartlib, 2 Dec. 1641, HP 37/96A. The fact that Moriaen evidently misread 'Ticcunei' (or perhaps 'Tecunei') as 'Tecuum' suggests his interest in Rittangel's work was more enthusiastic than informed. See Gershom Scholem, Kabbalah (Jerusalem, 1974), 218-19 and passim.

[64] Virtually every mention of Rittangel is accompanied by a complaint. In the letter to van Assche, 24 June 1642, UBA N65e, Moriaen said that he was prevented by one thing after another from undertaking a visit to his friend, 'vindende alle daegen nieuwe belaetselen als t'ene over is soo is ander voor de deure Rittangelius heeft my dit geheele Iaer geoccupeert met het ouersien van syn Liber Iezirah' ('finding new hindrances daily, as one is past there is another at the door. Rittangel has kept me busy the whole year overseeing his Liber Jezirah').

[65] 'ich [habe] etliche mal mit ihnen essen müssen, vnd dz auch, in præsentz hoher herrschaft, hören müssen: Diß ist der einige Man in den orientalischen Sprachen, den ganz Europa nicht hat!' - HP 1/33/63B.

[66] 'Er ist auch dermaßen selzam das nichts oder wenig mit Ihm anzuefangen ist - Moriaen to Hartlib, 24 Oct. 1647, HP 37/123B.

[67] Moriaen to van Assche, November 1644, UBA N65h, and Moriaen to Hartlib, 9 March 1657, HP 42/2/4A.

[68] 'wolt ich ruhe fur ihm haben' - Moriaen to Hartlib, 9 March 1657, HP 42/2/4A.

[69] 'allein vmb des süßen honigs willen muß man zue zeiten das stechen der bienen mit geduld verschmerzen' - Moriaen to Hartlib, 27 March 1642, HP 37/106A.

[70] Moriaen to Hartlib, 28 March 1641, HP 37/82A

[71] Moriaen to Hartlib, 27 March 1642, HP 37/106A.

[72] Moriaen to Hartlib, 24 Oct. 1647, HP 37/123B.

[73] HP 3/3/32A-33B; Popkin, 'Some Aspects of Jewish-Christian Theological Interchanges', and see also A.K. Offenberg, 'Jacob Jehuda Leon (1602-1675) and his Model of the Temple' (Jewish-Christian Relations, 95-115).

[74] Dury to Hartlib, 31 Aug. 1646, HP 3/3/33B.

[75] Ibid.

[76] Ibid.

[77] On perverse usage of the word 'Jew' (or in this case 'Jude'), see Victor Klemperer, LTI [= Lingua Tertii Imperii (Language of the Third Reich)]: Notizbuch eines Philologen (Berlin, 1949), a chilling and thought-provoking first-hand account by a German Jewish philologist of the linguistic policies of the Third Reich, which raises many questions that resonate beyond its immediate historical context.

[78] Dury to Hartlib, 31 Aug. 1646, HP 3/3/33A-B.

[79] Ibid. I do not wish to overstate the point: 'which' was used synonymously with 'who' at this period, and implies no derogation to Leon, but the statement that Boreel 'made use of' him clearly reflects Dury's notion of a hierarchy in the relationship.

[80] November 1644, UBA N65h, stating perhaps hyperbolically that the value of the shares had halved, and 27 Feb. 1648, HP 37/131B, in which he reported a loss of 800 guilders.

[81] Moriaen to Hartlib, 29 Oct. 1647, HP 37/123A.

[82] 'Euserlichem ansehen vnd Weltweißheit nach, hab Ich freÿlich (wie die freunde <wohl> vrtheilen) dem Sprichwort nachgethan alijs in serviendo consumor' - Moriaen to Hartlib, 8 April 1650, HP 37/149A.

[83] See below, p. 124.

[84] Moriaen to Hartlib, 8 April 1650, HP 37/149A.

[85] 'dit quaem mij seer beswaerlyck voor […] well om hem niet te laeten soo hadde al geresolueert hem te helpen' - Moriaen to van Assche, Nov. 1644, UBA N65h.

[86] Moriaen to ?, 7 Feb. 1647, HP 37/118B.

[87] Moriaen to Hartlib, 24 Oct. 1647, HP 37/123A-B, reporting 65 guilders repaid and over 200 still outstanding.

[88] On Wheeler, see Webster, Great Instauration, 372-4. He was an inventor whom Hartlib promoted for a while in the 1640s but who soon lost credit with the circle. After obtaining a twelve-year Dutch patent for a drainage mill in 1639 (G. Doorman, Patents for Inventions in the Netherlands during the 16th, 17th and 18th Centuries, abridged trans. Joh. Meijer, The Hague, 1942, 139), Wheeler fled the Netherlands leaving debts of over £1000, which the state met by selling his patent to a consortium of eight, including William Boswell and Janszonius Blaeu. Wheeler always maintained that he had been cheated, and wrote an impassioned but not very coherent account of the affair, Mr William Wheelers Case from his Own Relation (London, 1649), which, however, does little to inspire confidence in either his competence or his probity.

[89] Moriaen to Hartlib, 1 April 1650, HP 37/148A, and 7 Oct. 1650, HP 37/159A.

[90] 'Ich [muß] beÿ so unträglichen schaden vnd verlust gleichwoll mit allem ernst vnd fleiß dahin bedacht vnd auch damit geschäfftig sein […] wie Ich vor meinem ende […] meine sachen in richtigkeit bringen […] vnd also meine ehre, die nächst meinem guten gewißen mein höchster schaz auff Erden ist, erhalten vnd retten möge' - Moriaen to Hartlib, 8 April 1650, HP 37/149A.

[91] Hartlib to Boyle, 14 Sept. 1658, Boyle, Works VI, 114.

[92] Hartlib to Boyle, 16 Dec. 1658, Boyle, Works VI, 115.

[93] My account of Wiesel is largely based on Inge Keil, 'Technology transfer and scientific specialization: Johann Wiesel, optician of Augsburg and the Hartlib circle', SHUR, 268-78. Keil has since published a full biography of Wiesel, Augustanus Opticus: Johann Wiesel (1583-1662) und 200 Jahre optisches Handwerk in Augsburg (Berlin, 2000).

[94] Keil, 'Technology transfer', 269.

[95] Wiesel to Moriaen, 17 Feb. 1650, copy in a letter from Moriaen to [Hartlib?], HP 37/144B.

[96] Ibid., 272. On Pell, see below, pp. 113-16.

[97] See especially Moriaen to Hartlib, 25 March 1650, HP 37/146B. Hevelius, Blaeu and Sotherby each wanted a telescope, Boyle a microscope and Worsley one of each. On 19 July 1650, Wiesel mentioned four microscopes ordered from him through Moriaen, but by whom is not clear (HP 37/154B).

[98] Wiesel to Moriaen, 17 and 30 Dec. 1649, HP 37/144B (copy extracts included in a letter from Moriaen to Hartlib).

[99] HP 37/149A, 37/153A, 37/154A.

[100] Eph 51, HP 28/2/3B.

[101] 'machet einen floch so groß als ein schildkroten […] wer solchen durch dießes Instrumentlein schawete müste sich von herzen darvor entsezen' - Wiesel to Moriaen, 17 Feb. 1650, HP 37/144B.

[102] 'diß mit sonderlichem lust zu schawen' - Wiesel to Moriaen, 17 Dec. 1649, HP 37/144B.

[103] Keil, 'Technology transfer', 276-8.

[104] Moriaen to Hartlib, 18 Jan. 1658, HP 56/2/1A, with mention of the (unspecified) period 'when Herr Clodius lived in my house' ('da H Clodius beÿ mir wohnte').

[105] The recommendation itself does not survive, but Moriaen promised to send one on 19 April 1652 (HP 63/14/19B). For a fuller account of Clodius, see William Newman and Lawrence Principe, Alchemy Tried in the Fire: Starkey, Boyle, and the Fate of Helmontian Chymistry (Chicago and London, 2002), 257-268.

[106] Reports from him suddenly start appearing in the Ephemerides from about April 1651 onward.

[107] Boyle to Clodius, 27 Sept. 1653, Boyle, Works VI, 36.

[108] See Webster, Great Instauration, 303, and Hartlib to Boyle, 8 May 1654, Boyle, Works VI, 86.

[109] Kuffler's case is dealt with in detail below, pp. 52-7. See HP 31/13A for Moriaen's recommendation of Franck; HP 31/18/31A for his recommendation of Stahl, and HP 31/16A for his association with Faber. Faber (1641-78) is briefly mentioned by Thorndike (VII, 233) and Partington (II, 182).

[110] See Turnbull, 'Peter Stahl, the first public teacher of chemistry at Oxford', Annals of Science 9 (1953), 265-70; Webster, Great Instauration, 165, Partington II, 488, and my entry on Stahl in the Oxford DNB.

[111] Incomplete copy at HP 18/3/1/1A-8B.

[112] See Webster, Great Instauration, 304.

[113] Chymical, Medicinal, and Chyrurgical Addresses, 161.

[114] 'Remeum werd ich Ihnen fürderlich zusenden, mit den balsamis chirurgicis' - Moriaen to Hartlib, 24 April 1654, HP 31/13A. The 'you' is in the plural, presumably meaning Hartlib and Clodius.

[115] Hartlib to Boyle, 8 May 1654, Boyle, Works VI, 87.

[116] Hartlib to Winthrop, 16 March 1660, HP 7/7/4B.

[117] On 6 May, Dury mentioned having been with him in Amsterdam 'last week' (HP 4/3/3A); 16 Oct. is the date of his first surviving letter from Arnhem.

[118] The Kuffler brothers moved to the Netherlands from England, where they had also run a dye-works (at Stratford le Bow), just before the outbreak of the Civil War (NNWB is incorrect in dating their return c. 1650: Moriaen reported their recent arrival in Amsterdam to van Assche on 24 June 1642, UBA N65e). By September they were in the Hague (UBA N65f), but had moved to Arnhem at least by 16 Oct. 1646, when Heinrich Appelius wrote to Hartlib about a dyer known as Flensburg whom the Kufflers were supporting at their home there (HP 45/1/27B). On 26 Aug. 1647 Appelius specifically mentioned that they 'dwell & exercise their dying of cloath' at Arnhem (HP 45/1/33A). No patent for the dye-works has survived (cf. G. Doorman, Patents for Inventions in the Netherlands during the 16th, 17th and 18th Centuries, abridged trans. Joh. Meijer, The Hague, 1942), but since (according to Moriaen) this was the only dye-works in the province (HP 31/18/1B) they perhaps felt no need of one.

[119] Three copies in the Hartlib Papers (HP 53/5A-B, 53/41/4A-5B and 66/18/1A-2B); the document is undated but probably late 1658 (mid-1653 is 'about 5. years since' but Richard Cromwell is Protector).

[120] On Comenius's belief that he was invited to England by Parliament, see below, p. 128.

[121] A letter from George Horne to Hartlib of Sept. 1653, describing a highly skilled dyer specialising in scarlet, well known to Moriaen and planning to visit England to impart his knowledge for a suitable price, surely refers to Kuffler and implies that Hartlib knew little about him (Horne to Hartlib, 15 Sept. 1653, HP 16/2/2A). But Horne may simply have been unaware how well-informed Hartlib was: it was certainly not news to him that Kuffler knew Moriaen and was an expert in scarlet dye.

[122] Nine mentions of Kuffler in Eph 35, relating to his ovens, optics, medicines, a method of drying malt, and Drebbel's 'weather-glass' (i.e. his perpetual almanac) (HP 29/3/44A, 48B, 52A, 55B, 56A, 56B, 57B, 62A-B, 63B).

[123] It is not clear whether the family who set off together with Johann Sibertus included his brother.

[124] Petition to Cromwell, HP 66/18/1A. It is not immediately obvious why the change should so adversely have affected Kuffler's prospects. The Council of State which he supposed had invited him was drastically reduced, it is true, to the initially thirteen-strong Protector's Council (later Privy Council), and Major-General Harrison, his supposed champion, no longer featured on it (CSPD 1653-4, 297-8 (16 Dec. 1653)), but it is by no means certain he would have known in such detail of the state of affairs in England. This increases the likelihood that the mention of the 'change of government' is a red herring.

[125] HP 63/14/31B.

[126] 'Interim wolle der H. diese 2. Inventiones bey Seiner Hochheit dem H. PROTECTORI anbringen, vmb zu vernehmen, wie Ers apprehendire' (Moriaen to Hartlib, 5 Jan. 1655, HP 39/2/21A).

[127] HP 39/2/41A.

[128] At this juncture, Worsley was Surveyor General of Ireland, though soon to be brought down by his rival William Petty. See below, p. 218, and the literature cited there.

[129] HP 39/2/28B.

[130] 'Nun mein Herr ich bin versichert, daß meine Invention in höherm grad alß H Kufflers stehet, und ehe ich 1000 gl. darauff spendirt, weiß ich gewiß, meine sache demonstrabel zu machen. […] Ich weiß nicht wie es ist, daß ich das glück habe, die fewer Inventiones ziemlicher massen zuerkündigen […] Ohne Ruhm zu melden, glaube ich nicht, das einer in Europa einen digerir ofen habe, der lenger, vnd mitt weniger Kohlen könne gehitzet werden, als meiner' - copy extract by Clodius, 17 Nov. 1654, HP 39/2/25B, probably to Moriaen: it is evident in any case that Moriaen read and responded to this letter.

[131] 'solte ich […] eines andern schweiß und arbeit mir zueignen wollen, das seÿ ferne von mir' - 11 Dec. 1654, HP 39/2/24B: though probably addressed to Hartlib the letter was obviously meant for Clodius's eyes too. A similar rebuke of the same date (HP 39/2/24A and 22B) is almost certainly addressed to Clodius personally.

[132] HP 39/2/25B.

[133] Christine MacLeod, Inventing the Industrial Revolution: The English patent system, 1660-1800 (Cambridge, 1988), Chapter 1, and see Webster, Great Instauration, 343-55 on the resentment earlier aroused by abuses of the patent system and monopolies.

[134] On Hartlib's complex attitude to patents, see Greengrass, Leslie and Raylor, 'Introduction' to SHUR, 18-21, and Mark Jenner, '"Another epocha"? Hartlib, John Lanyon and the improvement of London in the 1650s', SHUR, 343-356.

[135] L.E. Harris, The Two Netherlanders (Cambridge, 1961), chapter 17. See also the account of Kuffler's torpedo in Webster, Great Instauration, 390-91.

[136] 'Ich sehe daß werck auch dergestalt an, daß es mehr zu ersparung bluttvergiessens, alß zu vergießung dienen wirdt. Dann wie die Schrifft selbsten vns zu gemüth führet, so gehet niemand so vnbedachtsam zu Feld, oder er überschlägt zuvor seine, vnd des feindes macht, Wie Er dargegen bestehen könne. So nicht; so schicket Er von ferne zu Ihm, vnd bittet vmb Frieden' - Moriaen to ?, 16 July 1655, HP 39/2/38B. The reference is to Luke 14:31-32.

[137] Between 3 March, when Moriaen was still trying to secure an invitation (HP 39/2/44A-B), and 20 June, when Kuffler, Hartlib and Ezerell Tonge signed an agreement concerning the promotion of his work to Cromwell (HP 26/49/1A-B).

[138] The family was still in the Netherlands when the agreement with Tonge was drawn up in June. An entry in Eph 56 almost certainly dating from July (the previous entry but one refers to events of 8 July) mentions a medicine known as 'oleum Fraxini' and that 'Dr Ks wife is bringing some along with her'.

[139] 'Articles tripertite Agreed & Concluded, betwixt Iohn Sivertus Küffeler, Dr. of Physick; Samuel Hartlib Esqr & Ezeral Tonge, Bac of Divinity. this 20th Day of Iune. 1656', HP 26/49/1A.

[140] HP 53/41/1A-B, in both Latin and English versions; further copies of the English at HP 53/41/6A and 66/18/2A.

[141] 'Agreements tripertite', HP 26/49/1A.

[142] Webster, Great Instauration, 232-42.

[143] Ibid., 239-40, and 529-32 for identification of the staff as a whole.

[144] Ibid., 242.

[145] Moriaen to Hartlib, 2 Feb. 1657, HP 42/2/1B.

[146] This is mentioned repeatedly in Moriaen's letters from the first half of 1658: HP 31/18/2B, 31/18/4B-5A, 31/18/15B, 31/18/23A, 31/18/31A..

[147] Hartlib to Boyle (quoting Moriaen), 13 May 1658, Boyle, Works VI, 108: this letter also mentions Brereton's attendance. Moriaen's own letters from the period are full of remarks in the same vein. Winthrop, who learned about the business later, felt the same: 'I wish you could prevaile with Dr Keffler to bury that fireworke […] in oblivion […] there are menes ynough already knowne to the world of ruin & destruction to mankind' (Winthrop to Hartlib, 25 Aug. 1660, HP 32/1/7B).

[148] 'so mag Gott kein gefallen an diesem furnehmen haben und den succes deswegen hindern' - Moriaen to Hartlib, 26 May 1658, HP 31/18/27A.

[149] 'Ich bin mit H Boÿle eines sinnes und will lieber zu einigen furnehmen rathen und gluckwunschen als zue diesem' - Moriaen to Hartlib, 14 June 1658, HP 31.18/29B.

[150] On Hartlib's attitude to such subjects, see Timothy Raylor, 'New Light on Milton and Hartlib', Milton Quarterly 27 (1993), 19-31, on Hartlib's (and Milton's) promotion of Edmond Felton's 'godly' engine of war.

[151] 'treffliches arcanum […] zu verderben des menschlichen geschlechts […] Es scheint den Engelländern beschert zu seyn durch eine Wunderliche Providentz' - anon., 8 Aug. 1658, HP 48/6/1A.

[152] Hartlib to Boyle, 10 Aug. 1658, Boyle, Works VI, 113.

[153] Hartlib, testimonial on Kuffler, 26 May 1659, 53/41/3A.

[154] Kuffler's petition to Richard Cromwell, HP 66/18/1A-B.

[155] Moriaen to Hartlib, 26 April and 14 June 1658, HP 31/18/17B and 31/18/29B.

[156] Pepys, Diary, ed. Latham and Matthews, III (London, 1970), 45-6.

[157] Hartlib to Boyle, 12 April 1659, Boyle, Works VI, 119.

[158] Ibid., 118.

[159] Hartlib to Winthrop, 16 March 1660, HP 7/7/2B.

[160] John Evelyn, Diary, ed. W. Bray (London, 1879) II, 198. See also Webster, Great Instauration, 390.

[161] It was a large estate alongside the Rhine, just to the north-west of Arnhem. There is a rather purple description in A.J. van der Aa, Aardrijkskundig Woordenboek der Nederlanden (Gorinchem, 1844) V, 896-7. It was destroyed in the Second World War.

[162] This is abundantly clear from a letter of 26 April 1658 (HP 31/18/17A-18B), in which Moriaen specified the rent (104 Imperials a year) and that he had vouched for it, as also for other debts of Kuffler's.

[163] Moriaen to Hartlib, 1 Jan. 1658, 31/18/1A.

[164] Ibid., 31/18/1B.

[165] 'darfur wir Gott vnd EL dankbar sindt' - Moriaen to Hartlib, 10 Dec. 1640, HP 37/71A.

[166] 'eine sonderliche schickung Gottes vnd gutes zaichen' - Moriaen to Hartlib, 10 Oct. 1641, HP 37/90A.

[167] Hartlib to Boyle, 2 Feb. 1658, Boyle, Works VI, 100-101. The published version gives 'Dr Van Mussig', an obvious mistranscription of 'Vnmussig' ('Diligent'), the pseudonym of the Paracelsian physician Johannes Brun.

[168] Ibid., 101.

[169] HP 42/2/18B.

[170] Van der Wall, Serrarius, 303.

[171] Moriaen to Hartlib, 14 June 1658, HP 31/18/29A.

[172] Especially Moriaen to Hartlib, 1 Jan. 1658, HP 31/18/1A-3B, but there are examples in almost all the letters from this point on.

[173] 'Ich werde woll wunderlich geleitet und weiß nicht wohin aber ich will mit blindem gehorsam meinem laidsman folgen, der mags versehen was der in mir sein und werden will des bin Ich zuefrieden' - Moriaen to Hartlib, 19 Feb./1 March 1658, HP 31/18/8A.

[174] 'nach kindlichem vertrawen in einem blinden gehorsam der mich leitenden hand Gottes' - Moriaen to Hartlib, 5 March 1658, HP 31/18/11B.

[175] Simon Schama, The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age (Berkeley, Los Angeles and London, 1988), 343.

[176] Matthew, 19:24; Mark, 10:25; Luke, 18:25.

[177] Luke, 16:19-31.

[178] Matthew, 25:14-30, the classic Scriptural authority for capitalism: 'Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury […] unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath' (v. 27-29).

[179] Ecclesiastes, 11:1.

[180] 1 Timothy, 6:10.

[181] The address appears on a letter from Christian Rave to Moriaen, 12 November 1651, Bodleian MS Lat. misc. c.17 fol. 42. I am indebted to Gerald Toomer for pointing this letter out to me. It is the only surviving evidence of his exact address at any point before the move to Arnhem, though it emerges from his own letters that he moved house within Amsterdam at least three times between 1639 and 1641.

[182] 'Ich habs etwan an mir selbsten wolgehabt' - Moriaen to Hartlib, 5 March 1658, HP 31/18/11B.

[183] Details of his alchemical projects are given below, pp. 226-32.

[184] The Embarrassment of Riches, 309: Schama is referring here specifically to the grand lotteries held in the Netherlands, but it is very much part of his point that any return on an investment involving the risk of loss could be viewed in the same way.

[185] 'theilen […] mit seinen gewin proportionaliter' - Moriaen to Hartlib, 31 Dec. 1640, HP 31/74A.

[186] 'sich […] die Gnade Gottes bei gefährlichen Unternehmungen erkauft' - Blekastad, Comenius, 333.

[187] Assuming Moriaen's second-hand report to be accurate (to Hartlib, 31 Dec. 1640, HP 37/74A).

[188] 'kunfftige woche soll und mus ich den leuthen helffen die nun lang auff uns gewartet haben und aus mangel eines kessels nicht haben geholffen werden können' - Moriaen to Hartlib, 25 June 1658, HP 31/18/37A.

[189] 'umb das einige patienten mit der fallenden Kranckheit behafftet sich beÿ mir angeben [haben]' - Moriaen to Hartlib, 23 July 1658, HP 31/18/42A.

[190] This is obvious from a number of remarks by Joachim Poleman. He asked Hartlib to convey Moriaen's reaction to his (Poleman's) medical ideas (HP 60/4/105A, n.d. but 1659 or 60), and thanked him for not revealing his (Poleman's) name when passing on his (profoundly negative) assessment of Friedrich Kretschmar to Moriaen (HP 60/4/150B, 17 Oct. 1659). Hartlib in turn reported Moriaen's favourable opinion of Poleman's Novum lumen medicum (1659) (HP 60/4/183A, 2 Jan. 1660). There is also an alchemical letter, probably from Kretschmar, of 1660, in which Hartlib is urged not to pass on the contents to anyone, especially not to Moriaen (HP 31/23/28A-31B; see below, pp. 203-4, for a fuller account). On 21 April 1661 Moriaen's nephew Isaac de Bra (son of Abraham and Moriaen's sister) sent Hartlib a letter of recommendation from his uncle (now lost but mentioned at HP 27/41/1A).

[191] HP 27/44/1A-2B.

[192] Dury to Hartlib, 11 March 1661, HP 4/4/5A-B, with instructions to Dorothy Dury to cash for Hartlib (at a favourable rate) a bill of exchange from Moriaen.

[193] Moriaen to Hartlib, 14 Jan. 1659, HP 39/2/79A.

[194] Kretschmar to Hartlib, 1 August 1659, HP 26/64/3B, and Poleman to Hartlib, 29 August 1659, HP 60/10/1A, both mention the first visit. Poleman also mentioned his arrival two days before 10 Oct. 1659 (to Hartlib, HP 60/10/2B), and departure before 17 October 1659 (HP 60/4/105A).

[195] Kretschmar to Hartlib, 1 Aug. 1659, HP 26/64/3B.

[196] Hartlib to Winthrop, 16 March 1660, HP 7/7/3A. Winthrop, who had met Moriaen during a visit to Europe, had asked after him the previous December (Winthrop to Hartlib, 16 Dec. 1659, HP 32/1/4).

[197] Hartlib to Boyle, 27 April 1658, Boyle, Works VI, 103.

[198] The recommendation itself does not survive, but is mentioned in letters from Moriaen to Hartlib of 16 June 1658, HP 39/2/38A and 25 June 1658, HP 31/18/37B, the latter reporting that Stahl was on his way. On Stahl, see Turnbull, 'Peter Stahl, The First Public Teacher of Chemistry at Oxford', Annals of Science 9 (1953), 265-70. See also Guy Meynell, 'Locke, Boyle and Peter Stahl', Notes and Records of the Royal Society 49 (1995), 185-92, and my entry on Stahl in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Moriaen's recommendation is in a letter to Hartlib of 6/16 June 1658, HP 39/2/38A.

[199] Hartlib to Boyle, late April/early May 1659, Works VI, 122.

[200] Poleman to Hartlib, 19 Sept. 1659, HP 60/4/186A-B.

[201] Faber (1641-78) was an iatrochemist from Lübeck, possibly a younger relation of the now otherwise unknown Otto Faber who according to Eph 53 'is the Man which corresponds with Morian as a true adept. from whom he expects the perfecting of that mystery [the Philosophers' stone]' (HP 28/2/61B). On Albert Otto, see Thorndike VII, 233 and Partington II, 182.

[202] 'ein lb. Ludi veri Paracelsi wie derselbe zu Antwerpen, nach Helmonts Anweisungen gefunden wird, vnd ich ihn von Moriano empfangen habe' - Faber to Hartlib, December 1661, HP 39/2/70A-B. The 'ludus Paracelsi' was one of the near-miraculous cure-alls of the Paracelsist chemical physicians.

[203] HP 31/16A.

[204] Bodleian MS Aubrey 13, fol. 14v. I am hugely indebted to Noel Malcolm for alerting me to the existence of this letter, of which I had been unaware when writing the print edition of this book. I had conjecturally placed Moriaen's death in the first half of 1668 on the basis of circumstantial evidence cited in the following footnote, but it is a great relief to have concrete confirmation.

[205] Haak to Winthrop, 22 June 1670, in R.C. Winthrop (ed.), Correspondence of Hartlib, Haak, Oldenburg and others of the founders of the Royal Society with Governor Winthrop of Connecticut 1661-1672 (Boston, 1878), 45; the published edition gives the obvious mistranscription 'Morlaen'. Among the 'curiosities & rarities' of which Moriaen was 'master', there featured an extremely valuable Arabic manuscript of the mathematician Apollonius Pergæus, which the astute and unscrupulous Orientalist Christian Rave (Ravius) had acquired in the course of his travels. Rave had sent this to Moriaen in 1651 for forwarding to Claude Hardy in Paris (Rave to Moriaen, 12 Nov. 1651, Bodleian MS Lat. misc. c.17, fol. 42), but Hardy never received it, and as late as 1669 Rave was still complaining about the detention of his manuscript by certain unnamed persons. But by then the manuscript was in the hands of Thomas Marshall, later Rector of Lincoln College, Oxford, who had purchased it from the Amsterdam bookseller Ratelband almost certainly in the first half of 1668 and certainly not later than 24 June (Marshall's interest in Apollonius was aroused in December 1667, and he had shown a friend the manuscript by 24 June 1668). Rave was evidently not aware of this - or, it would seem, of Moriaen's death - and perhaps thought Moriaen still had it (see Gerald Toomer, Eastern Wisedome and Learning: the Study of Arabic in seventeenth-century England (Oxford, 1996), 186; I would like to express my warmest thanks to Toomer for sharing this information with me long before he published it). According to John Pell, however, writing to Haak on 17 April 1668, Rave had 'pawned it to Mr Moriaen for some money which He had not repaid when I last saw Mr Moriaen, that was in July 1658' (Bodleian MS Aubrey 13, fol. 94v, cit. Noel Malcolm and Jacqueline Stedall, John Pell (1611-1685) and his Correspondence with Sir Charles Cavendish: the mental world of an early modern mathematician (Oxford, 2005), 176, n. 171). As was mentioned above (p. 48), Moriaen had been fretting about Rave's outstanding debts to him since at least as early as 1648. In any case, the fact that the manuscript materialised in an Amsterdam bookshop in (presumably) the first half of 1668 serves to corroborate Haak's second-hand report that Moriaen's effects had been 'sold, distracted, scattered'.

© 2013 The Newton Project

Professor Rob Iliffe
Director, AHRC Newton Papers Project

Scott Mandelbrote,
Fellow & Perne librarian, Peterhouse, Cambridge

University of Sussex, East Sussex - BN1 9SH - newtonproject@sussex.ac.uk

Privacy Statement

Sponsored by:

  • University of Sussex
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council
  • JISC