Gibson, Thomas (d.1562) (DNB00)

GIBSON, THOMAS (d. 1562), printer, medical practitioner, and theological writer, was a native of Morpeth, Northumberland, and Wood conjectures that he received his education at Oxford, ‘because that several of both his names and time were conversant with the muses in that university’ (Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, i. 331). It is certain, however, that a Thomas Gibson took the degree of M.B. in the university of Cambridge in 1511 (Cooper, Athenæ Cantabrigienses, i. 217). He was noted for his extraordinary success in curing diseases, and also for his strong antipathy to the Roman catholics. He wrote much, and from 1535 to 1539, or afterwards, carried on the business of a printer in London (Ames, Typogr. Antiquities, ed. Herbert, pp. 490, 676). With one exception all the known productions of his press were compiled by himself. Bishop Latimer on 21 July 1537 recommended him to Cromwell for employment in printing a book, and says: ‘He ys an honeste poore man, who will set ytt forth in a good letter, and sell ytt good chepe, wher as others doo sell too dere, wych doth lett many to by’ (State Papers, Henry VIII, ii. 564). In the reign of Mary he fled to the continent with his wife and daughter. They became members of the English protestant congregation at Geneva on 20 Nov. 1557 (Burn, Livre des Anglois à Genève, p. 11). On the accession of Elizabeth he returned, and in 1559 had a license from the university of Cambridge to practise physic. He died in London in 1562.

The following works are attributed to him: 1. ‘The concordance of the new testament, most necessary to be had in the handes of all soche, as desire the communicacion of any place contayned in the new testament,’ London, 1535, 8vo. This is the earliest printed concordance in the English language. The epistle to the reader, written by Gibson, intimates that he was the compiler. 2. ‘A treatise behoouefull, as well to preserue the people from the pestilence, as to helpe and recouer them, that be infected with the same; made by a bishop and doctour of phisick in Denmark; which medicines haue been proued in many places in London,’ London, 1536, 4to. 3. ‘The great Herball newly corrected,’ London, 1539, fol. 4. ‘A breue Cronycle of the Byshope of Romes Blessynge, and of his Prelates beneficiall and charitable rewardes, from the time of Kynge Heralde vnto this day,’ London, printed by John Day, n.d., 12mo. In English verse. 5. ‘The sum of the actes and decrees made by diverse bishops of rome,’ translated from the Latin, London [1540?], 8vo. 6. ‘Treatise against unskilful Alchimists.’ 7. ‘Treatise of curing common diseases.’ 8. ‘De utroque homine.’ 9. ‘Of the ceremonies used by Popes.’ 10. ‘The various states that Britany hath been in.’ In five books or parts, left unfinished.

[Bale, De Angliæ Scriptoribus, i. 719; Cat. of Early English Books in Brit. Mus. iii. 1320; Dibdin's Typogr. Antiquities, iii. 400, 401, iv. 171; Hodgson's Northumberland, vol. ii. pt. ii. p. 438; Hutchinson's Biog. Medica, i. 354; Latimer's Works (Corrie), ii. 380; Maitland's List of Early Printed Books, pp. 198, 242; Tanner's Bibl. Brit. p. 316.]

T. C.