Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Coxe, Francis

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1355944Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 12 — Coxe, Francis1887Edward Heron-Allen

COXE, FRANCIS (fl. 1560), a quack physician, who attained some celebrity in the sixteenth century, is best known by a curious volume of receipts entitled ‘De oleis, unguentis, emplastris, etc. conficiendis,’ London, 1575, 8vo. His practices having attracted considerable attention, he was summoned before the privy council on a charge of sorcery, and, having been severely punished, made a public confession of his ‘employment of certayne sinistral and divelysh artes’ at the Pillory in Cheapside on 25 June 1561. On 7 July following John Awdeley issued a broadside entitled ‘The unfained Retractation of Fraunces Cox,’ a copy of which is in the library of the Society of Antiquaries (Lemon, Cat. Broadsides, p. 16). Coxe subsequently published a grovelling and terror-stricken pamphlet entitled ‘A Short Treatise declaring the Detestable Wickednesse of Magicall Sciences, as Necromancie, Coniurations of Spirits, Curiouse Astrologie, and such lyke’ (London, Jhon [sic] Alde, n.d., black letter, 12mo), written, as he says in the preface thereto, ‘for that I have myself been an offender in these most detestable sciences, against whome I have compilyd this worke.’ The dates of his birth and death are not known.

[Coxe's Works.]

E. H.-A.