Lives of the fellows

Thomas Fryer

b.? d.1623
AB Cantab(1557) AM(1561) MD Padua FRCP(1572) MD Oxon(1623)

Thomas Fryer, M.D., [P. or Frier] [FRYER (Thomas) See also 2254/2] was a son of Dr. John Fryer, a former Fellow of the College, who died of the plague in 1560. Our present physician was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, and proceeded A.B. 1557, A.M. 1561. He then visited Italy, and graduated doctor of medicine at Padua. He was admitted a Fellow of the College of Physicians in 1572, and served the office of Censor in 1583 and 1584. At the close of 1594 he was exempted from attendance at the College unless specially summoned. “Decemb. xiii. Petit Dr. Frier ut secum dispensetur pro suâ præsentiâ in istis nostris conventibus, tum ratione ætatis suæ, tum propter alias rationes, Collegio non ignotas. Concessa est ista petitio, sed eâ lege ac conditione, ut quoties præmonitus et accersitus fuerit per Præsid. propter aliqua graviora Collegii negotia, non recuset ullo modo interesse.” His age could scarcely have been the real ground of exemption, for he survived this entry nearly thirty years. The other reasons, not unknown to the College, would seem to have been of a temporary character, for we meet him again as Censor in 1604, Elect 22nd December, 1603, and Consiliarius in 1607, 1608, 1609, 1611, 1619, 1620, 1622. We learn from Wood (1) that he was incorporated doctor of physic at Oxford, 28th February, 1623, and dying about two months after his incorporation, was buried in the church of St. Botolph, but in which of the parishes of that name Wood was unable to discover. It was most probably at St. Botolph’s, Aldersgate Street; his two sons, who will have to be mentioned hereafter, having lived in Little Britain, within that parish.

Dr. Fryer was a sincere and consistent member of the Church of Rome. In Kempe’s Loseley MSS. p.249, we read that “Thomas Fryer, of London, doctor of physic, has compounded with Her Majesty for a certain yearly sum not to come to church.” A document intituled, “A note of several livings of such recusants now remayninge in the Countie of Surrey, as are of habilitie, and of such Sommes of Monie as they offer to pay yearlie into her Majesties receipt, set down under their hands the 9 March, 1585,” shows that many Catholics were willing to purchase similar permission at the sacrifice of a fourth part of their yearly income, if their own statements of the amount might be considered under such circumstances to be tolerably correct. Certificates from the churchwardens to the justices that certain individuals have conformed, by attending divine service in the parish church, are at this period not unusual.
Whereas Thomas Fryer, Doctor of Phisicke, dwellinge within the Cytye of London, ys required by yor l’re of this instante to be before youe at Dorkinge on Thurseday nowe next cominge as touchinge his not cominge to churche: It may please yowe to be advertised that the sayd Mr Fryer hath been allreddye called before the Mr of the Rolls and Sir Owen Hopton, knighte. lieutenante of the Tower, Commissioners appoynted for the same cause, within the cyttie of London, and the countye of Middlesex, before whom he hath compounded and agreed to paye unto her Matie a certain yearely sum of money for his not cominge to churche, as by the certyficate thereof delyvered unto the Lordes of her Maties pryvie councell dothe appeare, w’ch by the commaundement of the Mr of the Rolls I am willed to signifie unto yor Masterships,
At London, the xvijth of Maye, 1586.
Yor Wrshippes humbly to com’aunde, HENRY CLERKE, The Clarke of the Peace in the Countye of Midd.
To the Right Worshippful Sr Willm More, &c.

Dr. Fryer, at the time of his death, was possessed of the manor of Harlton, Cambridgeshire (which he had purchased of the Barnes family), as appears from the monument to his memory in that church.

William Munk

[(1) Fasti Oxon., vol. i, p.844]

(Volume I, page 72)

<< Back to List