Lives of the fellows

Matthew Lee

b.1695 d.26 September 1755
AB Oxon(1717) AM(1720) MD(1722) MD(1726) FRCP(1732)

Matthew Lee, M.D., was born in Northamptonshire; and in 1720, being then fourteen years of age, was admitted a King’s scholar at Westminster. Elected thence, in 1713, to Christ church, Oxford, he, as a member of that house, proceeded A.B. 17th May, 1717; A.M. 23rd June, 1720; M.B. 26th October, 1722; and M.D. 16th June, 1726. He practised for some year's at Oxford with marked success, but about the year 1730 removed to London; was admitted a Candidate of the College of Physicians 12th April, 1731; and a Fellow 3rd April, 1732. He was Censor in 1734; and Harveian orator in 1736. In 1739 he was appointed physician to Frederick, prince of Wales, in place of Dr. Broxolme, deceased; and himself dying 26th September, 1755, was buried in the church of Little Linford, co. Bucks, where there is a monument with the following inscription:-
H.S.E.
Matthæus Lee M:D.
qui natus Northamtoniæ,
educatus in Schola Westmon,
Alumnus Regis,
et cooptatus in Ædem Christi Oxoniæ,
Literis atque Scientiis
uberrimè instructus fuit et ornatus.
Artem Medicam Oxoniæ et Londini
tantâ cum famâ exercuit,
ut Frederici Walliæ Principis,
et illustris Domûs valetudini Regente
Medicus constitueretur Ordinarius.
Erat enim in Morbis diagnoscendis sagax,
in iisdem curandis peritissimus;
in consultando apertus, facilis, gravis.
Uxorem duxit Saram, Joh: Knapp arm:
filiam natu minimam.
Obiit Sept: xxvi A.D. MDCCLV.
æt: LXI.
Moriens sine prole,
Conjugi dilectae,
quae hoc Monumentum posuit;
et Conjugis Sorori,
amplas opes annuas legavit.
Et post illarum obitum,
Collegas suas .Ædis ex Xti Ædis alumnos
haeredes prope exasse constituit;
ad ingenuae omnis literaturæ
reiq. Physicae et anatomicae studia,
in perpetuum promovenda.

Dr. Lee (1) bequeathed to the College the portrait of Dr. Friend, now in the dining room. He was a munificent benefactor to Christ church and to Westminster school. In 1750 he had founded an anatomical lectureship at Christ church, which he endowed with a stipend of 140l, a-year; he also gave money for building an anatomy school, and for converting the old library into rooms. His bequest to Westminster consisted of exhibitions for the students, 35l. To each of the Westminster students of the first year, beginning in the quarter in which they are elected to the Lady-day following. The residue is divided among the students who reside seven calendar months, and are not above eight years from their matriculation.

William Munk

[(1) "In medendo acutus et eruditus, in loquendo apertus et facundus, in agendo probus et sincerus: Qui modestis facilis et comis, arrogantibus acer et intrepidus, pauperibus misericors et liberalis, divitibus justus neque avidus fuit. Adulationis Ipse impatiens adulatus est nemini, plebeculae sermunculos contempsit, optimatum blanditias neglexit: quod denique de Pisone oratore scribit Cicero, id quidem Leei nostri mores et valetudinem mirificè depingit. Is (inquit Cicero) laborem forensem quasi cursum diutius non tulit, quod corpore erat infirmo, et Hominum ineptias ac stultitias, quae devorandae nobis sunt, non ferebat, iracundiùsque respuebat, non morosè ut putabatur, sed ingenio prorsus liberoque fastidio. Virum hunc egregium lugeant nostræ quas dilexit, Academiæ lugeat nostrum quod ornavit Collegium; lugeat denique, Ars ipsa Medica, cujus dignitatem tueri semper studuit."—Oratio Harveiana a.d. 1755, habita p. 34]

(Volume II, page 119)

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