Lives of the fellows

John Giffard

b.? d.1647
LRCP(1598) MD Oxon(1598) FRCP(1598)

John Giffard, M.D., a native of Wiltshire, probably educated at Winchester, and a master of arts of Oxford, was on the 8th May, 1598, admitted a Licentiate of the College of Physicians, and on the 7th December, 1598, was created doctor of medicine at Oxford, as a member of New College. He was admitted a Fellow of the College of Physicians on the 22nd of the same month (December, 1598); was Censor in 1602, 1609, 1617, 1620, 1621, 1622, 1625; Elect, 10th April, 1620, on the death of Dr. Lister; Treasurer, 1626, 1627, 1634, 1635, 1637, 1639, 1640; Consiliarius, 1632, 1633, 1635, 1636, 1637, 1639, 1640, 1641, 1642, 1643, 1644, 1645, 1646; and President, 1628. He died at an advanced age in 1647, and was buried in the chancel of the parish church of Hornchurch, Essex, on the 27th September in that year.

Dr. Giffard was the intimate friend and physician of Camden, the antiquary, and attended him during two very severe illnesses – the one in 1609, the other in 1620. Both were attacks of hæmorrhage, the latter hæmoptysis, which went to such an extent that he was left (as we are told) in a manner dead and deprived of all sense. Dr. Giffard took from him seven ounces of blood, and cured him of that attack; but he was seized with paralysis, 16th August, 1622, and, never recovering from its effects, died very shortly after. (1)

William Munk

[(1) Dr. Hamey draws Dr. Giffard’s character in the following words. “In vitæ instituto, sociis suis se semper dignè dedit; senes juvenesque reverentiâ et dignatione, atque omnes singulari modestiâ devinciens: quippe ut majorum natu famam sacrosanctam habebat: ita juniorum laudes quàm maximè auctas cupiebat. Utque ipse olim senum consilio atque authoritate nixus fæliciter emerserat, ita senex demereri juventutem, judicabat gratitudinis esse suæ atque humanitatis. Hinc accersitus ad ægrum, ne tyronis quidem medici prius vocati operam, ullo unquam indicio visus est levare; nec officiosè redire solitus nisi sollicitaretur: nec de industriâ prævertere adventum alterius, aut mox agenda præpropere suggerere, quasi socii opellâ facilè cavendum esset, præterquam ad scribendum: aut denique ullo modo per artes ab arte alienas, subdolè laudem lucrumque aucupari; quinimmò ne juvenis ullius opem, post suam senis desiderari stomachabatur, noverat res ejusmodi rarius expendi ad trutinam rectæ rationis didicerat dudum, quam obstetrix aliqua, compotrix nutrixve, quàm ancillula aliquando, vel anicula momenta versent horum negotiorum.”]

[P. Was he the Dr. Gifford mentioned in Welwood’s Memoirs, App. p.272, as attending upon Prince Henry, 1612. See also p.110 of this work.]
[(Family tree) – From Dr. W. Harlston 21.10.57 The above pedigree is extracted from Register marked “Le Neves Baronets Vol. III. 1660-1714 now remaining in the College of Arms London and examined therewith this eleventh day of January 1836. Geoff Rogers Harrison Bluemantle]

(Volume I, page 114)

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