Atkins, Henry (DNB00)

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ATKINS, HENRY (1558–1635), physician, born in 1558, was son of Richard Atkins of Great Berkhamstead, Hertfordshire. Matriculating at Trinity College, Oxford, in 1574, he graduated there and afterwards proceeded M.D. at Nantes. In 1588 he became fellow of the College of Physicians, and in 1606 president. He was re-elected in 1607, 1608, 1616, 1617, 1624, and 1625. In 1597 he sailed as physician to the Earl of Essex in the Spanish expedition, but was so sea-sick that he had to be put on shore and resigned the appointment. In 1604 Dr. Atkins was sent by James I to Scotland to bring back his son Charles. A letter of Dr. Atkins' on the child's health, written from Dunfermline, is extant (Thomas, Historical Notes, p. 485). In 1612 he was called into consultation during the last illness of Henry, Prince of Wales, and his opinion (Mayerne, Opera, p. 119) was that the disease was a putrid fever ‘without malignity, except that attending putridity.’ He suggested bleeding. His signature, as one of the king's physicians, stands next to that of Mayerne in the original report of the post-mortem examination (Original State Papers, vol. lxxi. No. 29). In 1611 the king is said to have offered Dr. Atkins the first baronet's patent. In 1618, under the presidency of Dr. Atkins, the College of Physicians issued the first ‘London Pharmacopeia.’ The doctor married Mary Pigot of Dodershall, Bucks. He lived in Warwick Court, enjoyed a large practice, and died rich on 21 Sept. 1635. He left an only child, afterwards Sir Henry Atkins, and is buried in Cheshunt church, where his monument remains. He was a benefactor of the College of Physicians.

[Munk's College of Physicians, i. 93.]

N. M.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.10
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

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