Boate, Dr. Gerard

, a Dutchman, and physician to the state in Ireland, in 1649, desesves some notice here, as being the first inquirer into the natural history of Ireland, of which he published an account. He lived to hold his post of physician to the state only eight months, dying either in 1649 or 1650, but compiled part of it some years before he went over, from materials furnished by sir William and sir Richard Parsons, and his own brother, Dr. Arnold Boate, who practised physic eight years at Dublin, and spent some months with him at London, in his way to Paris, in 1644, instructing him how to improve certain forfeited lands he had purchased in Leinster and Ulster. The title of his book is “Ireland’s Natural History, &c.” published by Samuel Hartlib, esq. “for the common good of Ireland, and more especially for the benefit of the adventurers and planters therein,” Lond. 1652, 12mo. Although some of his accounts are imperfect, and his topographical errors numerous, it is wonderful that a stranger should have accomplished so much, and at least run away with the honour of laying the foundation of the natural history of Ireland. He intended a second and a third book of the vegetables and animals, and a fourth of the natives, their old fashions, laws, and customs, and the | attempts of their English conquerors to civilize and improve both them and their country, which his brother, in his letter to Hartlib, promised to publish. What he published was afterwards incorporated into a Natural History of Ireland, by several hands, 1736, reprinted 1755, with a new preface and index of chapters, 4to. Boate’s book was translated into French by Briot, and published at Paris 1666, 12mo. We have no farther account of his history; but Weston, in his catalogue of English writers on husbandry, says that his true name was Beats. 1


Gough’s Topography, vol. II. —Pulteney’s Sketches. Biog. Universelle.