Lives of the fellows

George Bate

b.1609 d.19 April 1669
AB Oxon(1626) AM(1629) MB(1629) MD(1637) FRCP(1640) FRS

George Bate, MD, was the son of John Bate of Barton, in Buckinghamshire, and was born at Maids Morton in that county. He became one of the clerks of New college, Oxford, in 1622; was transferred thence to Queen's college for a time, and eventually entered at St Edmund's hall, as a member of which house he proceeded in arts; - AB 28th April, 1626; AM 22nd January, 1629. He took his degree of bachelor of medicine 1st March, 1629; had a licence to practice from the university; and did so in and around Oxford for some years, especially, as Wood says, “among precise and puritanical people, he being then taken to be one of their number.” He proceeded doctor of medicine, 7th July, 1637; continued to practise with considerable éclat at Oxford whilst the court was there; but when his Majesty and his cause declined, retired to London.

He was admitted a Candidate of the College of Physicians 30th September, 1639; and a Fellow 25th June, 1640. Amidst all the mutations of those changeful times, and whether Charles I, Cromwell, or Charles II were in the ascendant, Dr Bate always contrived to be the chief state physician. Wood tells us, that on his removal to London he closed with the times for interest sake, became physician to the Charterhouse, and at length chief physician to Oliver Cromwell whilst he was general, and afterwards when protector, and did not stick (though he pretended to be a concealed royalist) to flatter him in a high degree.

Upon the restoration of king Charles II anno 1660, he got in with the royal party (by his friends’ report that he, by a dose given to Oliver, hastened him to his end), was made physician to the king, and a fellow of the Royal Society. Dr Bate served the office of Censor in 1645, 1646, 1648; was named an Elect 23rd October, 1657; delivered the anatomy lectures at the College in 1666; and dying at his house in Hatton garden, 19th April, 1669, aged 60, was buried at Kingston-upon-Thames. In the chancel of the church there is a monument with the following inscription:-
Spa Resurrectionis felicis heic juxta sita est Elizabetha conjux lectissima Georgii Bate, MD, Car. II., Med. Primarii qui cineres suos adjacere curavit ut qui unanimes * * * * vixerant quasi uni corp * * * condormientes una resurgant. Mortem obiit 7mo April, 1667, æt 46, en hydrope pulmonum funesta Londini conflagratione accelerat * * Obiit ille 19 April, 1669 ætatis suæ 60.

His published works are -
The Royal Apologie; or, The Declaration of the Commons in Parliament, 11th February, 1647, canvassed. 4to. Lond. 1648.
Elenchus Motuum nuperorum in Angliâ, simul ac Juris Regii ac Parliamentarii brevis Narratio.

Hamey, in his sketch of Dr Bate, throws a doubt on his title to the authorship of this work: “Jam quoque vendicat sibi Elenchum nostrorum nuper motuum, editum haud ita pridem tacito authore habitumque Richardi Oweni Theolegi ob linguæ elegantiam. Libellum hunc placet nostro recudere, auctum nomine suo et appendice multum dissimili stili.” This work, by whomsoever written, was scrutinised by Robert Pugh in his Elenchus Elenchi: sive Animadversiones in Georgii Batei, Cromwelli paricidæ aliquando protomedici, Elenchum Motuum nuperorum in Angliâ. Parisiis, 1664.

William Munk

(Volume I, page 228)

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