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Linné on line arrow The Life of Linnaeus arrow Linnaeus the doctor of medicine arrow Linnaeus – doctor in Stockholm

Linnaeus – doctor in Stockholm

After three years abroad Linnaeus returns to Sweden. He visits his father in Stenbrohult and then his sweetheart Sara Lisa in Falun. Before he is allowed to marry her, however, he must prove that he can support a family. Linnaeus therefore goes to Stockholm and opens practice as a doctor.

Linnaeus stayed for a time with Carl Gustaf Tessin in his beautiful palace in Gamla Stan (the Old City), Stockholm.
Photo: H. Odöö.

At first his practice is not a success. He complains that he can’t even get a dog as a patient!

Linnaeus is clever enough to realise that he can get patients if he goes round to the taverns and coffee-houses and makes friends with people. His first patient is a young man with gonorrhoea. Linnaeus cures him quickly and the news of his skill with venereal diseases spreads and he soon has his hands full. To cure syphilis he uses a mercury ointment.

When the medicine he prescribes against coughs cures Queen Lovisa Ulrika herself, Linnaeus is appointed Physician to the Admiralty. Linnaeus also becomes the friend of one of the country’s most powerful politicians: Carl Gustaf Tessin, a man who loves art and learning. Tessin invites Linnaeus to live in his palace, next door to the Royal Palace. Here Linnaeus is asked to invent and organize Tessin‘s collection of plants, animals etc.

Another new friend is Mårten Triewald who arranges for Linnaeus to replace him as lecturer in mineralogy at the Board of Mines. So when Triewald wishes to found an academy of sciences he invites Linnaeus to join him. The Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences is founded on June 2nd, 1739 and Linnaeus becomes its first President.

Soon after, Linnaeus goes to Falun, and having now fulfilled all his future father-in-law’s requirements the wedding can be prepared. On June 26th, 1739, Linnaeus marries Sara Lisa Moraea at her family home, Sveden, just outside Falun.