Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Foxe, Simeon

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FOXE, SIMEON, M.D. (1568–1642), president of the College of Physicians, born in 1568 ‘in the house of the Duke of Norfolk,’ was the youngest son of John Foxe, the martyrologist [q. v.] He was educated at Eton, and on 24 Aug. 1583 was elected a scholar of King's College, Cambridge, where he proceeded B.A. in 1587, having become a fellow 24 Aug. 1586. He graduated M.A. in 1591. Bishop Piers promised him a prebend, but he preferred to study medicine. After leaving college he resided for some time with Archbishop Whitgift, then visited Italy, and took the degree of M.D. at Padua. On his return home he engaged in military service, and was with Sir John Norris and the Earl of Southampton in Ireland and the Netherlands. In the Low Countries he is said to have been taken prisoner and detained for a time at Dunkirk. He reached London in 1603, and shortly afterwards commenced to practise, attaining to the highest eminence in his profession. He was admitted a candidate of the College of Physicians on 30 Sept. 1605, and a fellow on 25 June 1608. He was censor in 1614, 1620, 1621, 1623, 1624, 1625, 1631, and 1632; registrar on 20 Nov. 1627, on the death of Dr. Matthew Gwinne; treasurer on 3 Dec. 1629, on Harvey's resignation of that office; anatomy reader, 1630; elect, 22 Dec. 1630, in place of Dr. Thomas Moundeford, deceased; president from 1634 to 1640; consiliarius in 1641. He died at the college house at Amen Corner, Paternoster Row, on 20 April 1642. In his will, dated 21 Oct. 1641, proved by his nephew, Thomas Fox, he describes himself as of the parish of St. Martin's, Ludgate, London, and desires ‘to be buried in Christian buriall within the Cathedrall Church of St. Paule in London, as neere to the monument of Doctor Lynacer as conveniently may be,’ bequeathing the sum of 20l. ‘towards the repayring of the same Cathedrall’ (registered in P. C. C. 51, Cambell). He was buried according to his directions on 24 April. He also bequeathed to the college 40l., to which his nephew added another 60l. ‘On 22 Dec. 1656 the college, on the proposition of Dr. Baldwin Hamey, unanimously voted the erection of a marble bust to his memory in the Harveian Museum;’ the statue was destroyed in the great fire of 1666, as was his monument in St. Paul's erected by his nephew. His portrait in the college was one of two pictures rescued from the fire, but has disappeared. He attended John Donne, dean of St. Paul's, and contributed liberally towards the erection of a monument to his memory. In Harleian MS. 416 (ff. 203b, 210, 214) are three Latin letters of Fox, two of which are addressed to his father and brother Samuel respectively. The life of his father prefixed to the second volume of the 1641 edition of the ‘Actes and Monuments,’ long attributed to his brother Samuel, has lately been assigned, on very feeble grounds, to Simeon himself. He was certainly alive at the date of its publication, when Samuel had been dead twelve years. But internal evidence does not justify Simeon's claim to the memoir [see Foxe, John, ad fin.]

[Munk's Coll. of Phys. (1878), i. 147–8; Harwood's Alumni Eton. p. 193; Winters's Biographical Notes on John Foxe, pp. 33, 36–38.]

G. G.