Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Gostlin, John (1566?-1626)

GOSTLIN, JOHN (1566?–1626), master of Gonville and Caius College, belonged to a family which sent many members to Cambridge. He was born in Norwich in or about 1566, and was the son of Robert Gostlin of that city. After being at school at Norwich for six years he was admitted at Caius College, 22 Nov. 1582, as a scholar. He graduated A.B. 1586–7, A.M. 1590, and M.D. 1602 (incorporated M.D. at Oxford, 1612). He was elected to a fellowship about Easter 1591–2, which he retained till he became master, 26 Feb. 1618–19. On the death of Dr. Legge (12 July 1607) ‘seven of the fellows chose Dr. Gostlin master, but because there was some ambiguity in one of the seven the Earl of Salisbury, then chancellor, vacated the election and appointed Dr. Branthwayt, then fellow of Emmanuel, master’ (Baker MSS. v. 24). Gostlin then retired to Exeter, where he practised physic, and was returned as M.P. for Barnstaple in 1614. After Dr. Branthwayt's death (1618) the fellows immediately met and chose Gostlin. The king's letter was brought soon after, recommending a divine, but they renewed their choice, and it was acceded to (Cal. State Papers, 1607, 1619). In 1623 he was appointed regius professor of physic, to which he was recommended by Dr. Isaac Barrow as being ‘the best man of his profession in the university’ (ib. 1623, pp. 605, 619). He was twice vice-chancellor of the university, dying during his second tenure of the office, 21 Oct. 1626. There is an account of his death in Mead's ‘Letters’ (Harl. MS. 390). His will is dated 19 Oct. 1626, and was proved (P. C. C.) 6 Dec. 1626. He was buried in the college chapel, where there is a monument to him. There is a portrait of him in the college lodge. He does not appear to have published any works. He was a benefactor to Gonville and Caius and St. Catharine's colleges. At the former he founded scholarships of the value of 40l. a year (College Records; Baker MSS.; Cooper, Athenæ Cantabr.; and other sources). There is a special commemoration for him in the college.

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