Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Cademan, Thomas
CADEMAN, Sir THOMAS (1590?–1661), physician, born in Norfolk about 1590, was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, and proceeded B.A. 1605-6, M.A. 1609. He then studied abroad, and took the degree of M.D. at Padua March 1620. In May and June 1623 he passed his examination before the censors of the Royal College of Physicians of London, and 'at the comitia majora of 26 June was ordered to get incorporated at one of our own universities' (Munk, i. 200). This he does not appear to have done. In 1626 he is returned to the parliamentary commission by the college as a papist. He was then residing in Fetter Lane. Two years afterwards he is noted as a 'recusant' residing in Westminster. He afterwards is mentioned as living at St. Martin's-in-the-Fields. It is supposed that his religion delayed his admission to the college. It was not till 3 Dec. 1630 that he became licentiate. On 22 Dec. he was admitted fellow. His religion probably helped him to another honour, for previously, it would seem, to 16 Dec. 1626 (Cal. State Papers, Dom. Ser. 1626, p. 24), he was appointed physician in ordinary to Queen Henrietta Maria. He signs himself medicus regineus after this. His name appears with some frequency in the State Papers for nearly twenty years. Thus on 24 May 1634 Thomas Reynolds, a secular priest, confined in Newgate for some years, petitions for release, and appends a certificate from Cademan and others. Cademan and Sir William Brouncker [q. v.] had a patent for stilling and brewing in a house at the back of St. James's Park, and this patent, they note in 1633, they had exercised for many years. On 4 Aug. 1638, on consideration of a petition to government presented in March previous, Sir Theodore de Mayerne [see Mayerne, Sir Theodore de], Cademan, and others 'using the trade of distilling strong waters and making vinegar in London, were incorporated as distillers of London.' Cademan and Mayerne were directed to approve of a set of suitable rules 'for the right making of strong waters and vinegars according to art' which the masters, warden, and assistants are to compose. The Company of Apothecaries, alarmed at this scheme, petitioned against it in September as infringing their monopoly. To this petition Mayerne, Brouncker, and Cademan replied, denying the statements made, and urging that the apothecaries should be admonished to confine their attention to their shops and their patients, and to speak in a more 'respective' fashion of the physicians. The undertaking was allowed to proceed, and in 1638 was published 'The Distiller of London, compiled and set forth by the special Licence and Command of the King's most Excellent Majesty for the sole use of the Company of Distillers of London, and by them to bee duly observed and practiced.' This is explained in the preface (p. ii) to be a book of rules and directions concerning distillation of strong waters and making vinegars.' The name of Thomas Cademan as first master of the company is appended. Another edition of the 'Distiller,' with 'the Clavis to unlock the deepest secrets of that mysterious art,' was 'published for the publicke good' in 1652. Cademan was also physician to Francis Russell, fourth earl of Bedford, of whose death he wrote an account in a curious little pamphlet of six pages, 'The Earle of Bedford's passage to the Highest Court of Parliament, 9 May 1641, about tenne a clock in the morning' (1641). This was to prove that the earl 'died of too much of his bed, and not of the small-pox' (p. 5), as usually asserted.
In 1649 Cademan was chosen anatomy lecturer to the College of Physicians, but he performed the duties of this office in a most inefficient manner. He became an elect 25 June 1650, and died 2 May 1651. A manuscript work of his, entitled 'De signis Morborum Tractatus, cura Thomæ Clargicii,' of date 1640, dedicated to Queen Henrietta Maria, is in the library of the Royal Medico-Chirurgical Society (Catalogue of Library, i. 205). From the State Papers, 13 April 1641 i. Cal. Dom. Ser.), it appears that Cademan had at that date a grown-up son. He was probably John Cademan, M.D., recommended on 22 June 1640 by the College of Physicians for appointment to the office of physician to the army (Munk, i. 228).