Pennington, Isaac (DNB00)

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PENNINGTON, Sir ISAAC, M.D. (1745–1817), physician, son of Paul Pennington, captain of a merchantman, was born at Longmire in Furness Fell, Lancashire, in 1745, and, after education at Sedbergh grammar school, entered at St. John's College, Cambridge, as a sizar, 12 Aug. 1762. He became a Lupton scholar on 4 Nov. 1766. He went out as thirteenth wrangler in 1767, one of his examiners being Richard Watson, whom he succeeded as professor of chemistry. He was admitted a fellow of St. John's, 22 March 1768, and so continued till his death, having on 18 Oct. 1775 been admitted to the faculty fellowship in medicine which enabled him to retain his fellowship. He graduated M.A. in 1770, and M.D. in 1777. He became professor of chemistry in 1773, and in 1793 resigned, and was appointed regius professor of physic. In 1785 he was elected physician to Addenbrooke's Hospital, and in 1796 was knighted. In the College of Physicians he was elected a fellow on 29 March 1779, and delivered the Harveian oration in 1783, but did not print his composition. He was unmarried, and by his will, proved 11 March 1817, he appointed the Rev. James Wood (master), Rev. Laurence Palk Baker (fellow), and Rev. Charles Blick (fellow and bursar), his executors. He bequeathed his property in St. Sepulchre's parish, Cambridge, to the master—this included the house (now 69 Bridge Street) in which he lived—and, after a number of small legacies to servants and friends, bequeathed the residue of his estate to the college, upon trust to pay 200l. a year to the master if he were also rector of Freshwater in the Isle of Wight, but if he be not rector of Freshwater, then the income to accumulate and be invested until he be rector, when he was to receive 200l. a year and the interest on the accumulations. He also founded exhibitions in the college, with a preference to candidates from Hawkshead and Cotton near his birthplace in Lancashire. He died on 3 Feb. 1817, and is commemorated by a tablet in the chapel of St. John's. Traditions of his popularity long remained in the university.

[Munk's Coll. of Phys. ii. 320; Cambr. Univ. Calendar; Baker's Hist. of St. John's Coll. ed. Mayor; Extracts from records of St. John's Coll. kindly made by Mr. R. F. Scott.]

N. M.