Lapworth, Edward (DNB00)

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LAPWORTH, EDWARD (1574–1636), physician and Latin poet, born in 1574, was a native of Warwickshire. He may have been a son of the Michael Lapworth who was elected fellow of All Souls' College in 1562, and graduated M.B. in 1573; we know that his father was physician to Henry Berkeley (Smyth, Account of the Berkeleys, ii. 381, Bristol and Gloucestershire Arch. Soc.). Probably he is the Edward Lapworth who matriculated at Exeter College 31 Jan. 1588–9. He was admitted B.A. from St. Alban Hall on 25 Oct. 1592, and M.A. 30 June 1595. From 1598 to 1610 he was master of Magdalen College School, and as a member of Magdalen College he supplicated for the degree of M.B. and for license to practise medicine 1 March 1602–3; he was licensed on 3 June 1605, and was admitted M.B. and M.D. on 20 June 1611 (Oxf. Univ. Reg. ii. iii. 172, Oxf. Hist. Soc.). He was 'moderator in vesperiis' in medicine in 1605 and 1611 (ib. i. 129), and 'respondent' in natural philosophy on James I's visit to Oxford in 1605 (Nichols, Progresses of James I, i. 527). In July 1611 he had permission to be absent from congregation in order that he might attend to his practice. In 1617 and 1619 he seems to have been in practice at Faversham, Kent (cf. State Papers, Dom. 1611–18 p. 457, 1619–25 p. 125). In 1618 he was designated first Sedleian reader in natural philosophy under the will of the founder (though the bequest did not take effect till 1621), and on 9 Aug. 1619 was appointed Linacre physic lecturer. From this time he resided part of the year in Oxford (cf. ib. 1627–8, p. 480). In the summer he practised usually at Bath, and dying there 23 May 1636 was buried in the abbey church (Wood, Fasti, i. 343). He had resigned his Oxford lectureship in the previous year. Lapworth married, first, Mary Coxhead, who was buried 2 Jan. 1621; and, secondly, Margery, daughter of Sir George Snigg of Bristol, baron of the exchequer, and widow of George Chaldecot of Quarlstone (Hoare, Wiltshire, v. 31–2). He had a son, Michael, who matriculated at Magdalen College in 1621, aged 17; and a daughter, Anne, who was his heiress, and mother of William Joyner [q.v.]

In person Lapworth was 'not tall, but fat and corpulent' (Guidott). He was a scholarly man, with a taste for poetry; there is a laudatory reference to him in John Davies's 'Scourge of Folly,' p. 215. At the marriage of Theophila Berkeley to Sir Robert Coke in 1613 there were, it is said, 'songs of joy from that learned physician, Doctor E. Lapworth' (Smyth, Account of the Berkeleys, ii. 401). Lapworth contributed verses to a variety of books. Bloxam gives a list of thirteen, including the Oxford verses on Elizabeth's death, James's accession, and those of Magdalen College on Prince Henry and William, son of Arthur, lord Grey de Wilton, as well as John Davies's 'Microcosmos,' and the 'Ultima Linea Savilii,' 1622. To these must be added lines in Joshua Sylvester's 'Du Bartas, his Devine Weekes and Workes,' 1605, and the treatise of Edward Jorden [q. v.] on 'Naturall Bathes and Minerall Waters.' The lines given in Ashmolean MS. 781, f. 137, as by 'Dr. Latworth on his deathbed,' seem to be his; they begin 'My God, I speak it from a full assurance.' There are some notes of his as to a child with two heads being born at Oxford in 1633 (Queen's Coll. Oxon. MS. 121, f. 29; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1633–4, p. 284). He was the owner of Harleian MS. 978 (James MS. 22 in the Bodleian Library).

There was an Edward Lapworth who matriculated as a pensioner at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, 30 Aug. 1590, and graduated B.A. 1591 and M.A. 1595. Masters conjectures that he had migrated from Oxford, and states that he graduated M.D. at Cambridge in 1611 (Hist. C. C. C. Cambr. p. 331). But it does not seem clear that the two persons are identical; the Oxford professor, however, was certainly the Bath physician and scholar.

[Wood's Fasti, i. 537; Athenæ Oxon. i. 45; Hunter's Chorus Vatum in Addit. MSS. 24488, f. 449, and 24492, f. 114; Bloxam's Reg. Magd. Coll. iii. 138–41, v. 144; Guidott's Lives of the Physicians of Bath, 1677, pp. 167–8; authorities quoted.]

C. L. K.