Lives of the fellows

Henry Plumptre

b.? d.26 November 1746
AB Cantab(1701/2) AM(1705) MD(1706) FRCP(1708)

Henry Plumptre, M.D., was born in Nottinghamshire and educated at Queen’s college, Cambridge, of which house he was admitted a pensioner 19th January, 1697-8. He graduated A.B. 1701-2, and on the 15th February, 1702-3 was admitted a fellow of his college, an office he vacated by not taking orders 4th July, 1707. He proceeded A.M. 1705 and M.D. per literas Regias in 1706. He was admitted a Candidate of the College of Physicians 22nd December, 1707, and a Fellow 23rd December, 1708. He delivered the Gulstonian lectures in 1711; the Harveian oration in 1722 ; and on the 19th March, 1732-3, was appointed to succeed Dr. Walter Harris as Lumleian lecturer. Dr. Plumptre was Censor in 1717, 1722, 1723, 1736 ; Registrar from 1718 to 1722 inclusive; Treasurer 13th July, 1725, in place of Dr. Levett, deceased; and Consiliarius 1735, 1738, 1739. On the 5th August, 1720, he "presented to the college a writing standish of plate of 80 ounces." He was named an Elect 5th May, 1727; and occupied the Presidential chair for six consecutive years, viz., from 1740 to 1745 inclusive. During the whole of the period that Dr. Plumptre was president the fifth Pharmacopoeia Londinensis was in course of revision and re-construction. To its improvement he devoted his best exertions and energy, and to him it would seem was mainly due the simplification in the formulae that distinguished the work from all its predecessors. The Pharmacopoeia was published in the summer of 1746. Dr. Plumptre died 26th November, 1746.(1) The portrait of this physician, possessed by the College, was presented by himself 1st October, 1744. The doctor was physician to St. Thomas’s hospital, an office he resigned in 1736. Dr. Plumptre was the author of a pamphlet entitled " A Serious Conference between Scaramouch and Harlequin," having reference to the controversy then raging between Dr. Woodward and Dr. Friend.(2)

William Munk

[(1) "Meministis ipsi quàm variâ ille abundaret doctrinâ; quo ingenio floreret; quam splendidè amplissimum apud vos magistratum gereret; ut omni studio, gratiâ, auctoritate incumberet ad hanc tuendam Remp. Nec minori sanè curâ et diligentiâ medicinæ ipsius cultui et castitati prospexit; qui Pharmacopoeiæ nostrae corrigendae tam sedulo invigilaverit, inconditasque medicamentorum farragines et inexplicabiles mixturas tam prudenti delectu, tam eleganti simplicitate, temperaverit. Idem pariter in vitâ constans veritatis non fucatae cultor, et inimicus fraudis; in circulis, in congressionibus familiarium festivus, dulcis, urbanus, non, nisi apud ægros, se professus medicum. Neque enim oportere visum est supercilium, et rugas, et senectutem induere; nec dissociabiles esse res judicavit jucunditatem et sapientiam. Felicem illum ingenii, qui seria sua quasi aliud agens et ludibundus expedire potuit; et ne ludebat quidem, ut non in eo simul nescio quid egregii et excellentis elucesceret!" Oratio Harveiana anno MDCCLXI habita, auctore Georgio Baker.
(2) Rouse’s Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Dr. Friend. 8vo. Lond. 1731, p. 84]

(Volume II, page 24)

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