Lives of the fellows

Richard Master

b.? d.1587
AB Oxon(1533) AM(1537) MB(1545) FRCP(1553) MD Oxon(1554) MD Cantab(1571)

Richard Master, M.D., a younger son of Robert Master, of Streetend in Willesborough, Kent, was educated at Oxford, and became a fellow of All Souls' College. [He graduated A.B. in 1533, A.M. 1537.] About the year 1539 he accepted a benefice in the Church of England, but soon afterwards resigned to the patron, because he was not well qualified for the function of a good clergyman, and from his want of sufficient acquaintance with the word of God and of the duties connected therewith, and also because popery, however it was abolished in name, still flourished here in reality. He then applied himself to the study of physic, and proceeded M.B. at Oxford in June, 1545.

About 1549 he was seized with a fever, which confined him to his bed for more than eighteen months. He was carried in a litter into Kent for a change of air and scene. Whilst there he had a quartan ague of three months' continuance. He proceeded M.D. at Oxford 9th May, 1554. Admitted a Fellow of the College of Physicians, 17th March, 1553; he was Censor in 1556, 1557, 1558, 1560; Elect in 1558; Consiliarius, 1564, 1583; and President 1561.

On the 26th June, 1559, he was constituted physician to Queen Elizabeth, with the yearly fee of £100, besides bouche of Court and all other advantages. Wood (1) tells us that "on 14th March, 1562, he was installed prebendary of Fridaythorpe, in the church of York, being about that time physician of the chamber to Queen Elizabeth." He was incorporated at Cambridge on his doctor's degree in 1571; and, according to Mr. Cooper, (2) died about the close of 1587, in the enjoyment of a high reputation for professional skill.

William Munk

[(1) Fasti Oxon., vol.i, p.710.
(2) Athenæ Cantab., vol.ii, p.20 ]

[Cirencester Parish Church. The Boleyn Cup. Silver Gilt. Hallmarked, 1535. Height 12 3/8 inches. Weight 18.650 troy ozs. Makers Mark, a group of three flowers. A standing cup and cover on circular foot chased with a border of acanthus foliage and with fluted centre. Above this a compressed circular fluted knop with acanthus leaves above and below, from which rises the trumpet-shaped bowl decorated with large applied flutes and with a broad engraved band of scrolling foliage round the lip. The fluted cover rises to a stem surmounted by Queen Anne Boleyn's personal badge of a falcon holding a sceptre with a rose-tree at the front on a circular root.

The falcon badge was the particular device of Anne Boleyn as queen. It appears in an illuminated initial letter to her patent of the Marquisate of Pembroke (B.M.Bib.Harl.303) and formed part of the Coronation pageant in her honour (Willement, Regal Heraldry, 1821).

It was given to the church by Dr. Richard Master, grantee of the lands of Cirencester Abbey in 1563. He was physician to Elizabeth I who, it is presumed, presented him with a cup she had inherited from her mother.

The Wall Safe was given and the Chalice placed on permanent display in memory of his descendant, Colonel W. A. Chester-Master, in November, 1968.]

(Volume I, page 52)

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