Bate, George (DNB00)

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BATE, GEORGE (1608–1669), court physician, was born at Maids Morton, Buckinghamshire, in 1608. He began his studies at New College, Oxford, migrated to Queen's, and thence to St. Edmund Hall, graduating in 1626. He became M.B. 1629 and M.D. 1637, and soon obtained practice. He was at first thought a puritan, but on the establishment of the court at Oxford attached himself to the royal party, and was made physician to the king. He was elected a fellow of the College of Physicians in 1640, settled in London, and during the interregnum became physician to Oliver Cromwell. The Restoration found him a royalist again, and he was made physician to Charles II. He was one of the earliest fellows of the Royal Society, and lectured on anatomy at the College of Physicians. He had some share in the authorship of two medical books; first in the ‘De Rachitide’ (1650) of Glisson, who names him as one of the physicians who had worked out with him the observation of rickets; and, posthumously, in the ‘Pharmacopœia Bateana’ (1690), which professes to be a collection of his prescriptions. A political work is said to be entirely his own. It is entitled ‘Elenchus Motuum nuperorum in Angliâ simul ac juris regii ac parliamentarii brevis narratio,’ 1650. It was added to and republished more than once, and its bibliography is obscure. It is, in part at least, a Latin version of a work also attributed to him, ‘The Royal Apologie, or the Declaration of the Commons in Parliament 11th February 1647 canvassed,’ 4to, London, 1648. Both are defences of the king's acts in his quarrel with the parliament, and profess to be drawn up from authentic records. Bate praises Charles I with the warmth of a client, and Oliver perhaps thought that a man so grateful to one patron would appreciate another. Clarendon and others are said to have helped Bate with papers, but there is nothing in the ‘Elenchus’ to make its author respected among contemporary politicians or valuable to subsequent historians. Dr. Bate lived in Hatton Garden, and was buried in 1669 at Kingston-on-Thames with his wife Elizabeth.

[Munk's Roll, i. 228; Wood's Athenæ (Bliss), iii. 827.]

N. M.