Lives of the fellows

John (Sir) Hinton

b.1603 d.?
MD(1642) Hon FRCP(1664)

Sir John Hinton, MD - On the 6th February, 1634, Dr Hinton, being then a doctor of medicine, of what university is not stated in the Annals (but probably of Leyden, where on the 10th April, 1633, he was entered on the physic line being then thirty years of age), and a practitioner in midwifery, presented himself at the Censors’ board, but was not examined, as he had not then been engaged in practice for the statutable period of four years. “Comparuit coram Censoribus Ds Dr Joan Hinton, qui se obtulit examinationi. Verum cum per statuta Collegii compertum sit neminem posse examen subire qui non prius exercuerit praxin per annos quatuor, quod rogatus profiteri nolebat, idec tunc examinatus non est. Verum cùm se tam lubenter examinandum præbuisset, et quod exerceat artem obstetricatus reipublicæ perquam necessariam, D Præsidens et Censores lubenter ei gratiam liberè practicandi concedunt usque dum per statuta Collegii examinationem subire poterit. Et insuper hanc ei indulgent gratiam ut cùm fuerit examinatus pro Candidatu, senioris Candidati locum ipso facto obtinebit non aliter quàm si prius fuisset examinatus.” On the 7th November, 1640, he appeared at the College, and presented letters from the earl of Dorchester, testifying that he had been appointed physician to the Queen.

Sir John Hinton and his family were eminently loyal, and took an active part in the exciting events of their time. One of his brothers was killed at the isle of Rhee, another was miserably wounded and permanently disabled in the rebellion, and a third served the royal cause in a civil capacity to the end of his life. Our physician began his political career by promoting a petition for peace to the Long Parliament. For this he was repeatedly examined before the House of Commons, and ere long found it necessary to fly from his family and home. He joined the king at York, marched with the army to Beverley, Hull, and Nottingham, and was present and engaged at the battle of Edge hill. Accompanying the army to Oxford, he was there created doctor of medicine 1st November, 1642, and about the same time was honoured by the king with the appointment of physician in ordinary to his eldest son - the future Charles II. By the king’s command he attended the queen, then “great with child and weake, having fitts of the mother and a violent consumptive cough,” to Exeter, where she gave birth to the princess Henrietta. He attended the queen in her confinement, and shortly afterwards saw his royal patient into Cornwall and safely embarked for France.

Dr Hinton was for some time at the Hague, in the suite of Charles II. On his return to London he was placed in confinement and frequently examined, but (to use his own words) “by the means and intercession of some zealous women, my patients,” was at length liberated, but still closely watched, until the restoration. He was knighted by Charles II, and was appointed physician in ordinary to the king and queen. He was admitted an Honorary Fellow of the College in December, 1664. The chief events of Sir John Hinton’s life are detailed in a “Memorial” presented by him to the king (Charles II) in 1679. He concludes it as follows:- “Thus, Sir, did I spend the principall part of my dayes and youth in the service of yr Matie and yr Royall Father, att my own expence, by wch means and being engaged for severall of yr friends in the warrs and afterwards, I did contract a debt of severall thousand pounds wch I have bin forced to pay out of my owne labour. All wch with utmost humility I lay before yr Matie confidently believing that yr Matie doth looke upon me as a faithfull subject and carefull servant, and if it shall gratiously please yr Matie to give some refreshment to mee in my last dayes, by yr favour to myself or children, I shall with much satisfaction lay downe my head in peace and cheerefully leave them to endeavour yr Maties service as I have done before them.” I fail to recover the date of his death.

William Munk

(Volume I, page 329)

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