Scharpe, George (DNB00)

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SCHARPE, GEORGE (d. 1638), professor of medicine, was born in Scotland, and studied medicine at Montpellier. He graduated there in 1607, and in 1619 was the successful candidate out of eleven applicants, one of them Adam Abernethy, a fellow countryman, for the chair vacant by the death of Varandé. He had published his theses as a candidate, entitled ‘Quæstiones Medicæ,’ at Montpellier in 1617. In 1632, in the absence of Ranchin, he was vice-chancellor of the faculty. He was not popular with his colleagues. In 1631, when proctor, he was admonished for fomenting quarrels, for arrogance at public examinations, and for personalities in conversation. He was threatened with a fine and deposition if he again transgressed; yet in 1634, at a meeting of the faculty, he denounced André, who had charge of the botanical garden, as an ignoramus, and, though ordered to remain till the end of the deliberations, withdrew in a huff. Duranc, his future successor, left with him, and both were formally censured. He had probably already received an invitation from Bologna, for in the same year he went thither to fill a well-endowed chair at the medical school. He nominated Duranc as his locum tenens at Montpellier, and, though the faculty declared the professorship vacant, the bishop of Montpellier, Fenouillet, maintained that Scharpe, having had leave of absence from the king, intended to return to his post. The dispute was referred to the Toulouse parliament; but before it pronounced judgment against Scharpe, he died at Bologna in 1638. His son Claude, who thereupon went back to Montpellier to complete his studies, became a lecturer on logic and philosophy, and published his father's lectures, under the title of ‘Institutiones Medicæ.’ Gui Patin, though not acquainted with Scharpe, considered him a very learned man and an able logician; but was informed by Gabriel Naudé and other trustworthy authorities that he was addicted to intemperance, and died of its effects.

[Lettres de Gui Patin; Eloy's Dict. Hist. de la Médecine, iv. 201; Germain's Hist. Faculté de Montpellier and Anciennes Thèses de Montpellier; Astruc's Hist. Faculté de Montpellier; Volgi's Uomini Illustri di Bologna; Haller's Bibliotheca Chirurgica.]

J. G. A.