Lives of the fellows

Richard Morton

b.1638 d.30 August 1698
AB Oxon(1656) AM(1659) MD(1670) FRCP(1678) MD Cantab(1680)

Richard Morton, MD, was the son of a clergyman, born in the county of Suffolk, and was entered first at Magdalen hall, Oxford, whence he removed to New college. He proceeded bachelor of arts 30th January, 1656; master of arts 8th July, 1659. Ere he had taken his master’s degree, he was appointed chaplain of New college, and subsequently he filled a similar office in an old and highly respectable family in Worcestershire. Having embraced the principles of the Nonconformists, he found it advisable after the restoration of Charles II to abandon the profession of divinity, and adopt that of medicine.

He was created doctor of medicine at Oxford, 20th December, 1670, on the nomination of the prince of Orange; and then, settling in London, was admitted a Candidate of the College of Physicians 20th March, 1675-6, and a Fellow 23rd December, 1678. He was incorporated at Cambridge, on his doctor's degree, in 1680. Dr Morton was one of four fellows whose names were omitted by the Charter of James II anno 1686; but he was restored to his position in 1689, on the recommendation of a committee of old and new Fellows, who had been nominated by the College to compose the differences engendered by that Charter. Dr Morton was Censor in 1690, 1691, 1697; and died 30th August, 1698.(1) He was buried in the middle aisle of Christ church, Newgate-street, 7th September, 1698. The flag stone over him bears his arms and the following inscription:-
H S J
Richardus Mortonus MD
Coll: Med: Lond: Socius
Obiit xxx August salutis MDCXCVIII
Anno ætatis LX.
His wife and daughter are also commemorated.

Dr Morton resided in Grey Friars-court, Newgate-street. His portrait, by B Orchard, was engraved by W Elder. Dr Morton’s works - which for many years enjoyed a high reputation, are still often referred to, and have been several times reprinted on the Continent - are as follow -
Phthisiologia, seu Exercitationes de Phthisi, tribus libris comprehensæ, totumque opus variis historiis illustratum. 8vo. Lond. 1689.
Pyretologia, seu Exercitationes de Morbis Universalibus Acutis. 8vo. Lond. 1692.
Pyretologiæ Pars altera, sive Exercitatio de Febribus inflammatoriis universalibus. 8vo. Lond. 1692.

William Munk

[(1) Medicus cujus memoriam (verbo absit Invidia) non satis coulisse nos videmur, Ricardus Mortonus; vir nequaquam prætereundus; qui, etsi theoriâ nimis generali deceptus malignitatem ubique odoratus fuit, atque, in spiritibus sustentandis nimis sæpe occupatus, a vero medendi scopo aliquando aberravit; in quibusdam tamen febribus continuis, quarum cum Intermittentibus necessitudinem primus nostratium feliciter adhibuit. Ille enim corticem Peruvianum, quo nunc tam graves expugnamus morbus, medicis tunc falso damnatum, regnoque pulsum, examinavit, absolvit, reduxit. Ille novum mundum hoc cortice in Europam transmisso, novum morbum, quem exeunte sæculo penultimo in eam transmiserat, non leviter compensâsse, primus indicavit. Hunc, cujus in artem medicam merita theoriæ illius vel inimicissimi non fateri nequeunt, nos, quorum est omnia sua cuique tribuere, æquissimis laudibus celebremus. – Oratio Harveiana anno MDCCLV. habita auctore Rob Taylor.]

(Volume I, page 398)

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