Lives of the fellows

Leonard Poe

b.? d.c.1631
MD Cantab LRCP(1606) FRCP(1609)

Leonard Poe, MD, appears in our Annals as a doctor of medicine of Cambridge. He had a mandate 22nd July, 13 James I, to be created MD, but there is no record of his having been actually admitted. He had much of the habits and manners of an empiric, for many years practised in London without a licence from the College, and was in consequence rightly suspected by his more orthodox professional brethren. He had many influential friends among the aristocracy, who interested themselves warmly in his behalf and made frequent application to the College authorities for his admission as a Licentiate, or that his practice without a licence might be tolerated. At length, on the 13th June, 1596, the College, at the earnest entreaty of the earl of Essex, granted him a special but carefully worded licence. He was permitted to treat venereal, cutaneous, and calculous diseases, gout and simple tertian ague; but in all other fevers, and in all severe diseases, he was bound by the terms of his licence to call to his assistance a member of the College. For a time this seems to have satisfied him; but on the 31st January, 1605-6, he made application to have his restrictions removed, and prayed for a general licence. This, however, was then refused; but on the 11th December, 1606, letters in his behalf having been received by the College from the earls of Suffolk, Northampton, and Salisbury, his licence was enlarged, and all former restrictions removed. On the 26th June, 1609, having then received the appointment of physician to the royal household, and bringing letters from four distinguished noblemen of the court, recommending him for admission as a fellow, he was elected as such, and on the ensuing 7th July (1609) actually admitted. So far as I can discover, he never held any office in the College, and left no writings behind him. He was dead on the 4th April, 1631, when Dr Alston was elected a fellow in his place.

William Munk

(Volume I, page 149)

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