Lives of the fellows

Matthew Maty

b.1718 d.1776
MD Leyden(1740) FRS(1752) LRCP(1765)

Matthew Maty, M.D., was the son of a Dutch Lutheran clergyman; and was born, in 1718, at Mont-fort, near Utrecht. Originally intended for the Church, in whose communion he was born, he was induced, in consequence of some heterodox opinions entertained by his father, to turn his attention to physic. He studied at Leyden, and on the 31st March, 1732, when fourteen years of age, was entered on the philosophy line there. He graduated doctor of medicine at Leyden 11th February, 1740 (D.M.I. de Consuetudinis Efficaciâ in Corpus Humanum) ; immediately after which he quitted Holland and settled in England. In 1750 he commenced the publication in French of the "Journal Britannique," printed at the Hague, and giving an account of the productions of the English press, "This humble, though useful labour," to use the words of the historian Gibbon, " which had once been dignified by the genius of Bayle and the learning of Le Clerc, was not disgraced by the taste, the knowledge, and the judgment of Maty. His style is pure and eloquent, and in his virtues, or even in his defects, he may be reckoned as one of the last disciples of the school of Fontanelle." The Journal, which was continued for five years, was held in high estimation in England, and served to introduce him to some of the most eminent literary men in this his adopted country. It was to their active and uninterrupted friendship, no less than to his own merits, that he owed the important situations which he subsequently filled. On the establishment of the British Museum, in 1753, he was appointed one of the under-librarians; and on the death of the principal librarian, Dr. Knight, was nominated to that office. Dr. Maty was admitted a fellow of the Royal Society in 1752; and a Licentiate of the College of Physicians 25th June, 1765. He was elected foreign secretary of the Royal Society the 4th March, 1762 ; and secretary, 30th November, 1765, an office he continued to hold for eleven years. He died in the latter part of 1776. A portrait of Dr. Maty was by his own order engraved after his death by Barto-lozzi, to be given to his friends. Of these one hundred copies only were struck off, and the plate then destroyed. The doctor at the time of his death had nearly finished the "Memoirs of the Earl of Chesterfield," which were completed by his son-in-law, Mr. Justamond, and prefixed to the earl’s "Miscellaneous Works," published in 1777, in two volumes quarto. He was the author also of—
Essai sur l'Usage. Ultr. 1741.
Ode sur la Rebellion en Ecosse. 8vo. Amst. 1746.
Essai sur le Caractère du Grand Médicin, ou Eloge Critique de Boerhaave. 8vo. Col. 1747.
Authentic Memoirs of the Life of Richard Mead, M.D. 12mo. Lond. 1755.
Translation of a Discourse on Inoculation by M. de la Conda-mine. 8vo. Lond. 1765.
New Observations on Inoculation, by Dr. Garth, Professor of Medicine in the University of Paris. From the French. 8vo. Lond. 1768.

William Munk

(Volume II, page 265)

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