Lobb, Theophilus (DNB00)

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LOBB, THEOPHILUS, M.D. (1678–1763), physician, born in London on 17 Aug. 1678, was the son of Stephen Lobb [q. v.], by the daughter of Theophilus Polwhele, nonconformist minister at Tiverton, Devonshire. In spite of an early taste for medicine he was educated for the ministry under the Rev. Thomas Goodwin [q. v.] at Pinner, Middlesex. In 1702 he settled as a nonconformist minister at Guildford, Surrey, and there became acquainted with a physician, from whom he received some medical instruction. About 1706 he removed to Shaftesbury, Dorset, where he began to practise as a physician. In 1713 he settled at Yeovil, Somerset, and practised with great success, although he still continued to exercise his ministry. Dissensions in his congregation at Yeovil induced him in 1722 to remove to Witham, Essex. On 20 June of that year he was created M.D. by the university of Glasgow, and was admitted F.R.S. on 13 March 1728–9. In 1732 he received a call from the congregation at Haberdashers' Hall, London, but his ministry not proving acceptable he resolved about 1736 to apply himself wholly to physic. On 30 Sept. 1740 he was admitted a licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians, and practised thenceforth in London. On 21 May 1762 a patent was granted to him 'for a tincture to preserve the blood from diziness, and a saline scorbutic acrimony.' He died in the parish of Christ Church, London, on 19 May 1763, and was buried in Bunhill Fields. He married, first, Frances (d. 1722), daughter of James Cooke, physician, of Shepton Mallet, Somerset, and secondly, in 1723, a lady who died on 2 Feb. 1760; but he left no issue. The profit arising from the sale of the tincture he bequeathed to his niece, Elizabeth Buckland (will registered in P. C. C. 291, Cæsar).

In 1767 his brother-in-law, the Rev. John Greene of Chelmsford, Essex, published 'The Power of Faith and Godliness exemplified in some Memoirs of Theophilus Lobb,' consisting principally of extracts from Lobb's diary. Prefixed to the work is a portrait after N. Brown, engraved by J. Hulett.

Lobb's religious writings include: 1. 'A brief Defence of the Christian Religion; or, the Testimony of God to the Truth of the Christian Religion,' &c., 8vo, London, 1726. 2. 'Sacred Declarations; or, a Letter to the Inhabitants of London, Westminster, and all other parts of Great Britain on the account of those Sins which provoked God to send and continue the Mortal Sickness among the Cattle, and to signify by the late awful Earthquakes that His Anger is not turned away' [anon.], 8vo, London, 1750. 3. 'Letters on the Sacred Predictions' (with a letter upon the public reading of the Scriptures), &c., 8vo, London, 1761. 4. 'An Answer to the Question, whether it be lawful to go to Plays,' 8vo. 5. 'A Dialogue between a Master and his Servants concerning the Sin of Lying,' 8vo.

His medical works are: 1. 'A Treatise of the Small-pox. In two parts. (With an Appendix to pt. i.),' 8vo, London, 1731. 2. 'Rational Methods of Curing Fevers,' &c., 8vo, London, 1734. 3. 'Medical Practice in curing Fevers; correspondent to rational methods,' &c., 8vo, London, 1735. 4. 'A Treatise on Dissolvents of the Stone, and on Curing the Stone and Gout by Aliment,' &c., 8vo, London, 1739. 5. 'A Practical Treatise of Painful Distempers. With some … Methods of Curing them,' &c., 8vo, London, 1739. 6. 'An Address to the Faculty on Miss Stephens's Medicaments,' 8vo, London, 1739. 7. 'Letters concerning the Plague, shewing the means to preserve people from Infection,' 8vo, London, 1745. 8. 'A Compendium of the Practice of Physick … in Twenty-four Lectures … With a Letter shewing what is the proper preparation of persons for Inoculation,' &c., 8vo, London, 1747. 9. 'The Good Samaritan, or Complete English Physician,' 12mo, London (1750?). 10. 'Medical Principles and Cautions,' 3 pts. 8vo, London, 1751–3. 11. 'General Medical Principles and Cautions, in three parts,' &c., 8vo, London, 1753. 12. 'Medicinal Letters. In two parts,' &c., 12mo, London, 1763; 3rd edit. 1765. 13. 'The Practice of Physic in general, as delivered in a Course of Lectures on the Theory of Diseases, and the proper method of treating them. Published from the Doctor's own MS.,' 2 vols. 8vo, London, 1771.

Lobb's correspondence with Dr. Thomas Birch, 1756–62, is in the British Museum Additional MS. 4311. The same collection contains his 'Account of Dr. Clifton's Hippocrates upon Air, Water, and Situation' (No. 4436); 'Thoughts of the Motions of a Human Living Body, January 1743–4 and March 1743–4' (No. 4438); and ' Observalions relating to the Plague, 1743, with Letters' (ib.)

[Wilson's Dissenting Churches, iii. 141-8; Munk's Coll. of Phys. 1878, ii. 146-7; Watt's Bibl. Brit.; Evans's Cat. of Engraved Portraits, i. 212; Ayscough's Cat. of MSS. in. Brit. Mus.; Boase and Courtney's Bibl. Cornub.; Boase's Collectanea Cornub. col. 506.]

G. G.