Lives of the fellows

Thomas Coxe

b.? d.1684/5
AB Cantab(1634/5) AM(1638) MD Padua(1641) LRCP(1646) MD Oxon(1646) FRCP(1649) FRS

Thomas Coxe, M.D., was born in Somersetshire, and educated at Emmanuel college, Cambridge, where he took the two degrees in arts, A.B. 1634-5, A.M. 1638. He then travelled into Italy, and at Padua proceeded doctor of medicine 12th December, 1641. He was admitted a Licentiate of the College of Physicians 13th June, 1646; but, getting incorporated at Oxford 15th October, 1646, he was on the ensuing 4th November admitted a Candidate, and a Fellow 25th June, 1649. He was Censor in 1652, 1667, 1671, 1674, 1675; Harveian orator, 1660; Elect, 29th April, 1675; Treasurer, 1676 to 1680; Consiliarius, 1680, 1683; President, 1682. He was one of the original fellows of the Royal Society.

Dr. Coxe, who had been physician to the Parliamentary army, fell at length into pecuniary difficulties, and if Wood’s statement is to be accepted, put himself in prison to compound for his debts. He died “apud Portum Iccium” in 1684-5.(1) Was not he the author of A Discourse wherein the interest of the Patient in reference to Physick and Physicians is soberly debated 18mo. Lond. 1699? It was Dr. Coxe who persuaded Sydenham to devote himself to medicine.

William Munk

[(1) “Thoma Coxe, M.D. qui ære alieno obreptus in Galliam profugit 1684, apoplexia extinctus ibidem ignobili funere sepultus est.” – Dr. Middleton Massey’s M.S. notes to his copy of the Pharmacopæia Londinensis.]

[Appointed in 1643 with Paul Delaune & Thomas Sheaf]

[Illustration: coat of arms]

[Arms: Morison, Plantarum, Tab.8.Sec.4]

[Morellus (Peter, Physician to the King of France) The Expert Doctors Dispensatory. The Whole Art of Physick Restored to Practice. The Apothecaries Shop, and Chyrurgions Closet open’d; Wherein all safe and honest practices are maintained, and dangerous mistakes discovered; and what…for their own profits they have endeavoured to reserve to themselves…now at last impartially divulged…Together with a strict survey of the Dispensatories of the most renowned Colleges of the World…To which is added by JACOB A BRUNN, publick Professor of Physick in Basil, A Compendium of the Body of Physick…Dedicated to that excellent Anatomist VESLINGIUS. Printed for N. Brook…1657. £175
8vo, contemporary sheep, 16 leaves including folding frontispiece in two compartments – the doctor in consultation and the apothecary’s shop (outer edge slightly soiled and made up) + 471 pp.+ folding table, intact + 4 leaves. Wing, M.2719 (Thomason, Bodley, Glasgow; only the Harvey Cushing copy in America).
A PERFECT COPY OF THIS VERY RARE BOOK. With autograph on fly-leaf Thomas Coxe his book. He became President of the College of Physicians and one of the first Fellows of the Royal Society. It was he who recommended SYDENHAM to take up medicine.
JOHN WINLAND, of Montpelier, in the Prefatory Epistle, calls this “the chief Dispensatory from whence all others have borrowed”, its owner “may desist from buying others.”
It has another great interest for the English collector. Harvey Cushing, we have no doubt, especially wanted it to complete his Culpepper collection, for after the title-page is an 18-line “Approbation, or Rather his Wish after his perusal of that Famous Morellus his Dispensatory” by NICHOLAS CULPEPPER. While translating the London Dispensatory, a friend sent him this “more refined work of Morellus”; had he been before acquainted with it, he would have “translated it, and presented it to my countrymen as the most useful, Compendious, and exact Dispensatory that in all my reading I ever met with.”
We might note that Morellus does not think much of baths, “most usual of old among the Romans for pleasure, but now a dayes only used for the recovery of health.” But he sees the value of a hot house, of what would now be a Turkish bath, and gives five pages of alarming details for sudatory and dry stoves…” The Decoction is first poured in (yet so that it touch not the sick) and then into it the stones are dropped fiery hot…Cauldrons…heated by turns, and poured under each tub, as each other cools…” Peter Murray Hill 89/64.]

(Volume I, page 247)

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