Drage, William (DNB00)


DRAGE, WILLIAM (1637?–1669), medical writer, a native of Northamptonshire, was born in or about 1637. He practised as an apothecary at Hitchin, Hertfordshire, where he died in the beginning of 1668–9. His will, dated 10 Oct. 1666, with a codicil dated 12 Nov. 1668, was proved on 9 March 1668–9 by his widow Elizabeth Drage, otherwise Goche, who was probably the sister of ‘my brother John Edwards of Baldock,’ Hertfordshire (Reg. in P. C. C. 31, Coke). He left issue three sons, William, Theodorus, and Philagithus, and a daughter, Lettice. To them he assigned his patrimony at Raunds, Northamptonshire, and land, house, malting, and homestead at Morden, Cambridgeshire. Drage, who was a profound believer in astrology and witchcraft, and a disciple of Dr. James Primrose, the coarse opponent of Harvey, wrote the following curious treatises: 1. ‘A Physical Nosonomy; or a new and true description of the Law of God (called Nature) in the Body of Man. To which is added a Treatise of Diseases from Witchcraft,’ 2 parts, 4to, London, 1665 (a reissue, with new title-page, ‘The Practice of Physick,’ &c., appeared 4to, London, 1666, and was followed by a third issue, entitled ‘Physical Experiments,’ 4to, London, 1668). From the notice at the beginning and in his ‘monitory Proœmium to the Candid Readers,’ Drage, it would seem, had ready another work, to be called ‘Physiology, Iatrosophy, and Pneumatography,’ but ‘was frustrated in his expectation, as to the time, it being not yet printed.’ 2. ‘Pretologie, a Treatise concerning Intermitting Fevers,’ 16mo, London, 1665. The same in Latin, with the title, ‘Πυρετολογία: sive G. Dragei … Observationes et Experientiæ de Febribus intermittentibus,’ &c., 16mo, London, 1665.

[Prefaces to Works; Watt's Bibl. Brit. i. 316 z; Hazlitt's Collections and Notes (1867–1876), pp. 132–3; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

G. G.