Brady, Robert (DNB00)


BRADY, ROBERT (d. 1700), historian and physician, was born at Denver, Norfolk. He was admitted to Caius College, Cambridge, on 20 Feb. 1643, proceeded B.M. 1653, was created doctor by virtue of the king's letters in September 1660 (Kennet, Register, 251), and on 1 Dec. of the same year was appointed master of his college by royal mandate (Kennet, 870). At an uncertain date (1670 or 1685) he held the office of keeper of the records in the Tower, and took deep interest in studying the documents under his charge. He was admitted fellow of the College of Physicians on 12 Nov. 1680, and was physician in ordinary to Charles II and James II. In this capacity he was one of those who deposed to the birth of the Prince of Wales on 22 Oct. 1688. He was regius professor of physic at Cambridge, and was M.P. for the university in the parliaments of 1681 and 1685. He died 19 Aug. 1700, leaving land and money to Caius College.

He wrote:

  1. A letter to Dr. Sydenham, dated 30 Dec. 1679, on certain medical questions, which is printed in Sydenham's ' Epistolæ Responsoriæ duæ,' 1680, 8vo.
  2. 'An Introduction to Old English History comprehended in three several tracts,' 1684, fol.
  3. 'A Compleat History of England,' 2 vols., 1685, 1700, fol.
  4. 'An Historical Treatise of Cities and Burghs or Boroughs, showing their original,' &c., 1690; 2nd edit. 1704, fol.
  5. 'An Inquiry into the remarkable instances of History and Parliamentary Records used by the author (Stillingfleet) of the Unreasonableness of a New Separation,' &c., 1691, 4to.

His historical works are laborious, and are based on original authorities; they are marked by the author's desire to uphold the royal prerogative. In his preface to his 'Treatise on Boroughs' he says that he is able to show that they 'have nothing of the greatness and authority they boast of, but from the bounty of our ancient kings and their successors.'

[Kennet's Register and Chronicle, 251, 870; Biographia Britannica, i. 959; Munk's Coll. of Phys. (1878), i. 418; Ackermann's History of the University of Cambridge, i. 106.]

W. H.