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SAFFOLD, THOMAS (d. 1691), empiric, originally a weaver by trade, received a license to practise as a doctor of physic from the bishop of London on 4 Sept. 1674. He had a shop at the Black Ball and Lilly's Head ‘near the feather shops within Black Fryers Gateway.’ Thence he deluged the town with doggerel in advertisement of his nostrums, medical and astrological. He taught astrology, solved mysteries, kept a boarding-house for patients, and ‘by God's blessing cureth the sick of any age or sex of any distemper.’ He warned the public against mistaking his house, ‘another being near him pretending to be the same.’ Those ‘conceited fools’ and ‘dark animals’ who asked how he came to be able to work such great cures and to foretell such great things he admonished in fluent rhyme. He fell ill in the spring of 1691, and, refusing medicines other than his own pills, he died on 12 May, a satirical elegist lamenting the ‘sad disaster’ that ‘sawcy pills at last should kill their master.’ The advertisements and goodwill passed to ‘Dr. Case,’ who gilded the ‘Black Ball’ and gave the customers to understand that

    At the Golden Ball and Lillie's Head,
    John Case yet lives, though Saffold's dead.

[Harl. MS. 5946 (curious advertisements by Saffold); An Elegy on the Death of Dr. Thomas Saffold, 1691; see art. Case, John (fl. 1680–1700).]

T. S.