BONHAM, Thomas


Institute of Historical Research



Margaret Pelling, Frances White

Year published


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'BONHAM, Thomas', Physicians and Irregular Medical Practitioners in London 1550-1640: Database (2004). URL: Date accessed: 22 November 2014.


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NameThomas BONHAM
Primary occupationmedical physician (MD) (Physician. Free of BSC 1597. Author (med). Grays Inn 1614(?))
Period of medical practice1596-1610
Date of deathc.1610/ c.1627
AddressHouse in precincts of Bart's Hosp c 1610
Other notesCa 1581 BA 1585 MA 1588 MD ?? incorp Ox 1611. Trouble 1606. Defeated the RCP at law 1610. V. Clowes, "Struma", 1602. There is confusion over his death - some evidence that he was alive after 1

Known London address

House in precincts of Barts Hospital
ParishSt Bartholomew the Less (the Hospital)
WardFaringdon Without
Datec 1610

Censorial hearings

25 March 1605
1 July 1608
EntryB was charged with involvement in the case of Mrs PAINE 557, who had claimed that she did nothing without B's instructions (as testified by Mrs Crowder, a frequent complainant against Mrs PAINE). B denied that he had any business agreement with Mrs PAINE and condemned 'the whole practice' [of what??].
Initiator of the complaintother medical practitioner
Attitude of the accuseddenied
Action taken?
Verdictcase not completed
3 Feb 1609
EntryB's case was discussed.
Attitude of the accusedabsent
Action taken?Presumably B was arrested & imprisoned between Feb & Oct. See next
Sentence[To be prosecuted at law]
6 Oct 1609
EntryLetter from Archbishop of Canterbury was read. It described B as learned in Latin & Greek & as having a good degree from Cambridge. B had been in prison for some months. The Archbishop would 'move the Lords' on B's behalf unless he were released. A deputation had been sent to the Archbp with an account of B's sins. The Archbp had agreed that B should submit to the College and should not persist with his lawsuits against it.
Attitude of the accusedabsent
Pressure applied by Collegeyes
Action takenB (presumably) released, but carried on with lawsuit. See next.
1 March 1610
EntryCollege had lost the lawsuit against B. Drs Ridley, Lister & Argent were to salvage what they could, and College would hope 'that God acts lest medicine perishes and quacks triumph'.
Action taken?Damage limitation after the College lost the lawsuit.
8 July 1614
EntryGeorge Perin, a surgeon, was accused of practising: he threw the blame on Doctor Bonham having shown his chirograph: for that reason therefore he was warned and sent away.
Action takenWarned and dismissed.
Verdictcase not completed
6 Dec 1605
14 April 1606
EntryB was again examined but his replies were not pertinent.
Attitude of the accusedasked for College membership
Action takenFined £5 under pain of prison & warned to abstain.
SentenceFined £5 under pain of prison & warned to abstain
3 Oct 1606
EntryB had been summoned, but would not answer.
Attitude of the accusedabsent
Action takenDecided to arrest B.
7 Nov 1606
EntryB had often been examined & found unworthy, & forbidden to practise under £5 fine, then £10 fine. He was now summoned. He first put his hat on, then declared that he would practise despite the College, on the authority of the University, and spoke 'with insolence and scorn'. He had brought a lawyer with him, Dr Smith, who argued the meaning of the College's statutes.
Initiator of the complaintcollege member
Attitude of the accuseddefiant
Action takenSent to prison. (Previous fines mentioned.)
SentenceImprisoned ?until paid previous fine(s)
13 Nov 1606
EntryThe case of the College against Dr. Bonham was heard before the judges of the Court of Common Pleas by whose authority he was freed from prison.
Action takenB was freed by the Court of Common Pleas. Prosecuted at law there.
5 June 1607
EntryAll were asked to remember when B had practised. Dr Clements declared that it was at the same time as himself.
Attitude of the accusedabsent
Action taken?Evidence collected.
3 July 1607
EntryB was accused by Dr Pope.
Initiator of the complaintcollege member
Attitude of the accusedabsent
Action taken?Evidence collected.
Number of crimes1
5 Feb 1608
EntryDr Bonham had been summoned for the first time, but did not appear.
Attitude of the accusedabsent
Action taken?