Skinner, Stephen (DNB00)

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SKINNER, STEPHEN (1623–1667), physician and philologist, born in 1623, was the son of John Skinner of London. He matriculated from Christ Church, Oxford, on 6 Dec. 1639; but the civil war breaking out, he left England and ‘served in wars beyond seas.’ He was probably the Skinner who was stated by the parliamentary visitors of Oxford to be ‘in the service of Ireland.’ In 1646 he was again at Oxford, and in consideration of his foreign service was allowed to accumulate both his arts degrees in that same year, B.A. on 21 Oct. and M.A. on 10 Nov. On 22 April 1649 he entered as a medical student at Leyden, on 6 May 1653 at Heidelberg, and on 4 Nov. 1653 again at Leyden. At the beginning of 1654 he graduated M.D. of Heidelberg, and on 26 May following was incorporated in that degree at Oxford. Wood says that during his absence from England he ‘visited France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, visited the courts of divers princes, frequented several universities, and obtained the company and friendship of the most learned men of them.’ He was made honorary fellow of the College of Physicians in December 1664. He practised in Lincoln, where he died of malignant fever on 5 Sept. 1667. Administration of his estate was granted to his sister, Elizabeth Bowyer, and his daughter Stephanie Skinner, on 7 Sept. 1667.

Skinner left behind him several philological treatises in manuscript which are enumerated by Wood. These were edited by Thomas Henshaw [q. v.] and published in London in 1671, under the title of ‘Etymologicon Linguæ Anglicanæ.’ Dr. Johnson gratefully acknowledges his indebtedness to Skinner in the preface to his ‘Dictionary’ (1755).

[Wood's Athenæ, ed. Bliss, vol. iii. cols. 793–4; Wood's Fasti, ed. Bliss, vol. ii. cols. 90, 91, 148; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714; Album Studiosorum Academiæ Lugduno-Batavæ, pp. 394, 432; Toepke's Die Matrikel der Universität Heidelberg, ii. 316; Burrows's Reg. of Visitors, p. 329; Munk's Coll. of Phys. i. 335–6; Notes and Queries, 1st ser. xi. 122, 168; Horne Tooke's Epea pteroenta, passim.]

B. P.