Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Winston, Thomas

WINSTON, THOMAS (1576–1655), physician, son of Thomas Winston, a carpenter, of Painswick, Gloucestershire, and his wife Judith, daughter of Roger Lancaster of Hertfordshire, was born in 1575. He graduated M.A. at Clare Hall, Cambridge, in 1602, and continued a fellow of that college till 1617. He then studied medicine at Padua, where he attended the lectures of Fabricius ab Aquapendente, and at Basle, where he became a pupil of the celebrated Caspar Bauhin. He graduated M.D. at Padua, and was incorporated M.D. at Cambridge in 1608. He was admitted a licentiate of the College of Physicians in London on 9 March 1610, a candidate or member on 10 Sept. 1613, and was elected a fellow on 20 March 1615. He was ten times censor between 1622 and 1637. He was an active member of the Virginia Company, regularly attending its meetings in London until October 1621, and acting as one of the editors of 'A Declaration of the State of the Colonie and Affaires in Virginia,' published in 1620. He was elected professor of physic at Gresham College on 25 Oct. 1615, and held office till 1642. He then went suddenly to France, but returned in 1652. The speaker of the House of Commons, William Lenthall [q. v.], wrote to the Gresham committee on his behalf, and on 20 Aug. 1652 he was restored to his professorship, which he held till his death. He had a large practice as a physician, and always kept an apothecary, who followed him humbly. Meric Casaubon praises his learning (Notes on Marci Antonii Meditationes, 1634, p. 33). He died on 24 Oct. 1655, and alter his death his 'Anatomy Lectures' were published in London in 1659 and 1664. They are well expressed, and show much anatomical reading as well as a practical acquaintance with the anatomy of man and of animals. He made no original discoveries, held the old erroneous opinion that there are openings in the septum between the ventricles, showed no acquaintance with Harvey's demonstration of the circulation, and believed that the arteries transmit vital spirit elaborated in the left ventricle as well as blood. He made no parade of learning, but was obviously well read in Galen and in Latin literature.

[Works; Ward's Gresham Professors; Munk's Coll. of Phys. vol. i.; Brown's Genesis of the United States.]

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