Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Bates, Thomas

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1126257Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 03 — Bates, Thomas1885Henry Manners Chichester

BATES, THOMAS (fl. 1704–1719), surgeon, appears from the preface to his ‘Enchiridion of Fevers common to Seamen in the Mediterranean,’ 12mo, published in London in 1709, to have served for five years as a naval surgeon in that part of the world. Subsequently he practised in London, and distinguished himself by his patriotic and enlightened efforts during the cattle plague of 1714. This epidemic, which is said to have destroyed a million and a half of cattle in western Europe in 1711–14, had made its appearance in England, where it had been unknown for centuries, and had reached the Islington cowyards. The energetic measures adopted by the privy council on Bates's suggestions proved so effectual that, at a sacrifice of six thousand head of cattle, it was stamped out within three months, to the astonishment of continental nations (Fleming, Animal Plagues, vol. i.) The reports are preserved among the Treasury Papers; and a ‘Brief Account of the Contagious Distemper among Cows in 1714,’ by Thomas Bates, appears in ‘Phil. Trans.’ 1718 (abrd. ed. vi. 375). Bates was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in December 1718, and was admitted into the society 8 Jan. 1719. The date of his death is uncertain.

[Preface to Bates's Enchiridion, 12mo (London, 1709); Calendar of State Papers, Treasury, 1709–16; Fleming's Hist. Animal Plagues, vol. i. (London, 1870), pp. 257–324; Dict. Usuel de Méd. et Chirurg. Vétérinaire (Paris, 1859), p. 362; Books of Royal Society at Burlington House.]

H. M. C.