Thomas Linacre (1460–1524), a distinguished scholar and physician, was the founder and first president of the Royal College of Physicians in London. He was educated at Oxford University and travelled extensively in Italy before returning to England and becoming MD at Oxford and Cambridge. Around 1501 Linacre was summoned to London to become physician to Prince Arthur, and he later attended Henry VIII and Cardinal Wolsey.
Linacre’s most significant legacy is the Royal College of Physicians, which he established in 1518. At this time the practice of medicine was not considered prestigious or important. In Italy there existed establishments solely for the advancement of science, but not in England. Linacre’s aim was to create understanding and emulation among all physicians, to increase their inquiries into the nature of disease and secure more uniformity in treatment.
The portrait was copied by William Miller, a Bedell (or Beadle) of the Royal College of Physicians, in 1810 from a painting at Windsor Castle.
Where to see this painting?
Royal College of Physicians, London
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