Institute of Historical Research



Margaret Pelling, Frances White

Year published


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'LUMKEN, John', Physicians and Irregular Medical Practitioners in London 1550-1640: Database (2004). URL: Date accessed: 29 November 2014.


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Primary occupationmedical surgeon (Surgeon)
Period of medical practice1579-1616
Other notesSummoned 1589 & 1591. Accused, fined & imprisoned 1605. Out 1606.

Known London address


Censorial hearings

5 Dec 1589
EntryL was summoned.
Attitude of the accusedabsent
Action takenSummoned.
18 Dec 1589
EntryL, surgeon, confessed that he had practised medicine for a long time. He had treated dropsy, gout and rheumatism, and even more serious diseases. He had administered a purgative diet - confectis Hamech & Diaphoenicon - as often as 3, 4 or 5 times a day.
Attitude of the accusedconfessed
Action takenDeferred.
5 Feb 1591
EntryLumken [among others] was to be asked to appear in the next Comitia.
Attitude of the accusedabsent
Action takenTo be summoned to the next Comitia.
29 March 1591
EntryArthur Gorge had sent a severe letter against L. It was read and L was asked to bring forward a letter which Gorge had written in his favour.
Pressure applied by Collegeyes
Action taken?
5 Nov 1591
EntryL was summoned.
Attitude of the accusedabsent
Action takenSummoned.
Verdictcase not completed
12 July 1605
EntryJohn Shepard, apothecary, appeared and charged L with giving purgative pills to Mrs Hill, who was staying at the White Hind, Cheapside, and of putting 'an oily extract of sulphur into her eyes thereby causing inflammation of the eyes and the danger of blindness'. Dr Wilkinson accused S of prescribing stupefactive pills (labdanum Paracelsi) for Stocday of Cheapside, who was suffering from sciatica. The pills caused a total suppression of urine, and Stocday died on the 11th day.
Initiator of the complaintother medical practitioner
Second initiator of the complaintcollege member
Action takenSee next.
Number of crimes2
19 July 1605
EntryQuestioned about Mrs Hill, L said it was an inflammatory discharge from the eyes 'and that it was salt'. He refused to reply in Latin, of which he confessed ignorance. He was found guilty of bad practice, unbecoming behaviour and abusive language.
Action takenFound guilty, fined £20 and imprisoned.
SentenceFined £20 and imprisoned
Number of crimes1
20 July 1605
EntryA letter on L's behalf from the Earl of Northumberland arrived (dated 19 July 1605). L, he said, was 'one whom I make good accompt of, having procured him to com over for some speciall purpose. I meane to use him for my owne health'. L had previously treated the Earl's brother. The Earl requested L's release. College wrote back agreeing (20 July 1605).
Pressure applied by Collegeyes
Action takenCollege agreed to release L on petition of Earl of Northumberland.
17 July 1606
EntryL was imprisoned (17 July). The Archbishop of Canterbury requested his freedom, but on hearing the President and Censors left the matter to the College (22 July). L was eventually freed on the request of men 'deserving well of the College', on condition that he bound himself for £40 not to practise in future.
Action takenImprisoned but freed on request of well-wishers on bond of £40.
SentenceImprisoned. Freed on providing bond of £40 to abstain

LUKE, John