Lives of the fellows

Simeon Fox

b.1568 d.20 April 1642
AB Cantab(1587) AM(1591) MD Padua FRCP(1608)

Simeon Fox, M.D., was the youngest [P. younger?] son of John Fox, the martyrologist, and was born in the year 1568, in the house of the duke of Norfolk. He was educated at Eton, and at the age of 14 was elected to King’s college, Cambridge, of which house he subsequently became a fellow. He graduated A.B. 1587, A.M. 1591, when, applying himself to the study of medicine, he travelled into Italy, and proceeded doctor of medicine at Padua.

Returning home he entered upon military service, and was with Sir John Norris and the earl of Southampton, in Ireland and the Netherlands. In the last named he is said to have been taken prisoner, and to have been detained for a time at Dunkirk. He reached London in 1603, and shortly afterwards commenced the practice of his profession.

Dr. Fox was admitted a Candidate of the College of Physicians 30th September, 1605, and a Fellow 25th June, 1608. He was Censor in 1614, 1620, 1621, 1623, 1624, 1625, 1631, 1632; Registrar 20th November, 1627, on the death of Dr. Gwinne; Treasurer 3rd December, 1629, on Harvey’s resignation of that office; Anatomy Reader, 1630; Elect 22nd December, 1630, in place of Dr. Moundeford, deceased; President 1634, 1635, 1636, 1637, 1638, 1639, 1640; Consiliarius, 1641. Dr. Fox concluded an active and useful life on the 20th April, 1642, and was buried in St. Paul’s on the 24th of the same month, close to the grave of Dr. Linacre. (1) By will, he bequeathed to the College 40l., to which his nephew added another sixty, making together one hundred pounds.

On the 22nd December, 1656, the College, on the proposition of Dr. Hamey, unanimously voted the erection of a marble bust to his memory in the Harveian museum, on the pedestal supporting which there was engraved, “Simeoni Fox, suo sæpiùs Præsidi et Benefactori, hunc locum dedit Collegium” .(2) That statue [would seem to have been placed near to that of Harvey, for Hamey says: spectentur (ergo) simul Harvæ marmora Foxiique. It was] was destroyed in the great fire. A portrait of Dr. Fox was formerly in the College. It was one of two pictures saved from the fire of 1666, but has disappeared.

William Munk

[(1) Dr. Fox occupied the College House, “1642 Apr. xxiv. In Ædibus Collegii celebratæ erant exequiæ E. V. Dni Dris Foxii,” Annales.
(2) Dr. Hamey, in his Bustorum aliquot Reliquiæ, gives us a long and interesting account of his friend and colleague, Dr. Fox, the concluding portion of which is all that my limits permit me to transcribe:
“Patuit totum Foxium ad honesti normam factum esse, gravem sine morositate, religiosum sine superstitione, magnificum sine luxu, munificum sine commemoratione, nitidum sine curiositate, facundum sine tædio, prudentem sine fraude, amicum sine fine, opulentum sine injuriâ, cælibem sine mollitie, historicum sine studio partium, poetam sine nugis, oratorem sine calamistris, philosophum sine sophismatis, et medicum denique sine omni histrioniâ.”]

[P. He and Dr. Argent were the last two Presidents of the College who used to ride on horseback in London to visit their patients. Ward, p.266.]

(Volume I, page 147)

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