The Hartlib Papers

Title:Copy Letter In Hand ?, William Petty To Hartlib
Dating:16 December 1650
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To Mr Hartlib.
         A Coppie of Dr Pettys Letter dated at Oxford
              the 16th of December 1650:
Sir.
   The club here hath been upon the pursute of Captain[altered] Bulmers Experiment[H? alters] whereby hee undertooke to blow a Boy or a Boate over London-bridge, the Ground whereof wee conceive to bee by blowing of bladders, or some other instrument of the like kind of greater capacity. wee have blowen up a bladder with an halfe hundred weight fastened to the end thereof, and could raise the said weight to the full difference of the lenght of the said bladder, empty and extended only lenght-waies. wee then made the same experiment by puting the same bladder[altered from bladders] into two boxes double to each other in content whereof the greater was in diameter equall or some what lesse then the diameter of the bladder full in its widest place, and whereas before the weights were hanged beneath the bladder they were not[H? deletes] <H?: now> laid on the top thereof in the boxes. By which manner of proceedings wee could blow up with one mans breath 110.<H?: lb.> weight in the greater & about 70li in the lesser boxe the[altered] weights[altered] were raised in both 5. or 6 inches. wee varied the widnesse of the hole of the Pipe which wee vsed to fill the bladder by, and found that the hole being about a quarter of an inch in diameter did the worke incomparably better and more easily then through a Tobacco-pipe; After these experiments fully made & often wee had large & various [altered from variable] debates about the reason but I cryed out for the
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aplication thereof to some vsefull thing./
  Here hath happened lately a very miracle. viz: A Maid was condemned to bee hanged for killing her owne new borne Infant which <H?: shee> tooke upon her death had never life not being a span long and shee not bee much aboue halfe gone with Child and alledging divers other circumstances whereby I am fully perswaded shee was innocent as to the Murther. But notwithstanding all this shee was hanged neare halfe an houre beaten on the breast with many violent stroakes with the Butt end of a Musket then Cut downe and laid in a coffin which I had sent for her being to dissect her. when shee was brought to the place shee rattled in the throate but a friend of hers [word deleted] <thinking> to dispatch her stamped with his feet upon her three times: Soone after this I and one or two more came in to have opened her I found her then to rattle againe where-upon wee fell to worke with her, let her blood and vsed many other various remedies[altered from remidies], which you shall know hereafter and now to the great admiration of all shee is almost recovered beyond all danger of her life where upon wee have gotten her repreive and made faire way for her pardon collected her monies to defray the charge of Medicines in her cure and hope to right her in refference of the persons that wronged her: Thousands of people come from all parts to admire the great and powerfull hand of God; in this businesse I shall further adde, that shee cannot remember how shee came out of Prison, how shee was hanged what shee said on the Gallows[altered] (although shee spake[altered from speake] liberally) but all things done before very perfectly Communicate these things to whome you thinke fitt the Letter to the Noble Lady Ranelagh      My endeavours in this businesse haue bettered [catchword: my]
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my reputation:/.