POE, Leonard

Sponsor

Institute of Historical Research

Publication

Author

Margaret Pelling, Frances White

Year published

2004

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'POE, Leonard', Physicians and Irregular Medical Practitioners in London 1550-1640: Database (2004). URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=17720 Date accessed: 30 September 2014.


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Leonard POE

Biography

NameLeonard POE (PO)
GenderMale
Primary occupationmedical physician (MD) (?Deacon. Empiric. Royal Physician by 1609 (created MD 1615))
Period of medical practice1588-1631
Place of birthEngland (of Lincoln)
Date of death4 Apr 1631
AddressChrist Church 1631 (will)
Other notesMany powerful patrons => ELRCP 1596 LRCP 1606 FRCP 1609. Created MD Cantab 1615. See Birken thesis.
Medical specialitiesFrench disease, fevers, rheumatism, epilepsy +

Known London address

Christ Church
ParishSt Katherine Cree (Christ Church) [incl Holy Trinity Aldgate, St Mary Magdalen Aldgate, St Michael Aldgate]
WardAldgate
Date1631

College membership

Medical education (university)Cambridge
Date of MD1615
Date became Extra-Licentiate13/06/1596
Date became Licentiate11/12/1606
Date became Fellow07/07/1609
Date of Fellowship1609-1631
In trouble before membershipYes
Other notesCre MD Cantab 1615. Powerful patrons.
Date of death4 Apr 1631

Censorial hearings

5 Dec 1589
EntryP was summoned.
Attitude of the accusedabsent
Action takenSummoned.
19 Nov 1591
EntryP was forbidden to practise.
Action takenForbidden to practise.
Verdictguilty
SentenceForbidden to practise
7 Dec 1592
EntryLeonard Poe appeared and he confessed that he had practised medicine here in London for four years. He was enjoined to show in the next Comitia the letter obtained from and written on his behalf by the most worthy Councillors. This he faithfully promised to do.
Pressure applied by Collegeyes
Action takenP to reappear with his letter of authorization from the Councillors
22 Dec 1592
EntryP had not kept his promise to bring letters of support, but Dr Browne brought letter of authority addressed to Coll & JPs, dated 28 Feb 1592, signed by Arch Cant, Lord Threw, Lord Admiral, Lord Chamberlain, Lord Cobham, Lord Buckhurst, Mr Wolley, Ashley. Letter said P had been very successful as a physician and guaranteed his abilities.
Pressure applied by Collegeyes
20 Jan 1593
EntryThe Earl of Essex had written again on P's behalf, dated 29 Dec 1592. He referred to his previous letters and was displeased that the College had not licensed P as he (E) had asked. He said he would continue to support and assist P. After discussion, College decided not to license P, but to discuss his case again.
Attitude of the accusedasked for College membership
Pressure applied by Collegeyes
Action takenLicence refused but case to be discussed again.
Verdictguilty
SentenceNone. College to discuss the case again.
22 April 1594
EntryLetter was discussed. P to be summoned.
Attitude of the accusedabsent
Pressure applied by Collegeyes
Action takenP to be summoned.
24 April 1594
EntryP appeared. In deference to Essex the College tried to find some merit in him and asked only trivial questions, but he refused to be examined. He said he had cured one Craven of a liver obstruction, but failed to answer questions on it. He could not give the symptoms of pleurisy, and knew no Greek or Latin.
Attitude of the accuseddefiant
Action takenCollege to report to Essex.
10 May 1594
EntryEssex had sent another letter (Goodall 86-7, Annals 104b-105a). He complained of the continuing harrassment of P and insisted that P did good. He noted the licence granted to Banister and demanded a final answer (17 April 1594). College replied (Goodall 87, Annals 105b) - they accepted Davies, but P they found so ignorant that they cd find no grounds for licensing him, try as they would.
Pressure applied by Collegeyes
Action takenNo licence granted.
Verdictguilty
SentenceNone
23 Dec 1594
EntryP was summoned.
Attitude of the accusedabsent
Action takenSummoned.
10 Jan 1595
EntryP was asked to show his letters from the Queen's Council (Essex had given him a letter from himself and two of the Councillors).
Pressure applied by Collegeyes
Action takenP to show his new letter(s) of support.
Verdictcase not completed
22 Dec 1595
EntryEssex had sent ANOTHER letter on behalf of P. It was read, and Dr Giffard pleaded P's case, but the College was still not convinced.
Pressure applied by Collegeyes
Action takenNo licence granted (still).
Verdictcase not completed
18 Dec 1589
EntryP was examined and found completely unlearned and ignorant. But because of the intervention of North and the Earl of Essex, he was excused fines for previous practice, though forbidden to practice in future.
Attitude of the accusedasked for College membership
Pressure applied by Collegeyes
Action takenExcused fine, but forbidden to practise in future.
Verdictguilty
SentenceForbidden to practise. Excused fine because of patrons.
13 July 1596
EntryP was to be licensed and allowed to practise medicine, but only for the French pox, intermittent tertian fever, skin diseases, the stone and gout. For all other fevers and diseases he was to summon the aid of a FRCP. He was to pay £4 p.a.
Attitude of the accusedasked for College membership
Action takenLRCP (restricted).
Verdictguilty
SentenceTo be licensed conditionally
22 Dec 1597
EntryP was summoned. Dr Smith accused him, on the evidence of a nobleman, Fitzwilliam, of having given pills to a woman, who died the same day.
Initiator of the complaintcollege member
Second initiator of the complaintperson unconnected with the patient or the case
Action taken?
Verdictcase not completed
Number of crimes1
5 May 1598
EntryP was accused by Juliana Skulls, a 'poor little woman' who was illiterate, of giving her husband a brown medicine on 19 April 1598, and another medicine at 6 a.m. next day; the husband died at 10 a.m. and attributed his death to his 'pretty supper'. P had said he would vomit 3-4 times and have 3-4 stools. Actually he vomited 5-6 times & died vomiting. P said it was Diasordium, suitable for putrid fever. In the morning, P had felt S's pulse and said that he had no sickness of the heart, only a great heat and cold.
Initiator of the complaintspouse of the patient
Action taken?
Number of crimes1
8 May 1598
EntryP was absent, ill with the quinsy.
Action takenFailed to appear.
Number of crimes1
26 June 1598
EntryBecause of P's practice he was to be fined 20 marks and imprisoned. The sentence was to be announced on Friday, 'at the usual place and time'.
Action takenTo be fined 20 marks and imprisoned.
Number of crimes1
30 June 1598
EntryP appeared. The Censors gave their opinion about Skull's case: that the vomits had killed him. P should now forfeit his licence and go to Wood Street prison and remain there at their pleasure. P was not to be relicensed until a majority of the College thought it fit. If he complied (i.e. turned in his licence), his imprisonment wd be remitted. Censors hinted that this was because of his patrons.
Action takenExpelled as LRCP and imprisoned. And fined 20 marks?
Verdictguilty
SentenceImprisoned in Wood Street, expelled as LRCP, ?and fined 20 marks
Number of crimes1
4 Aug 1598
EntryP did not appear and he had not given up his licence. College concluded that he should be imprisoned.
Action takenFailed to appear. To be imprisoned.
24 Nov 1598
EntryP had obtained a letter of protection from the Queen's Councillors warning that he was not to be arrested or imprisoned by anyone. He had shown it to the keepers of each of the prisons, and none dared arrest him. College had a considerable discussion on the case and decided to write to the Council asking for permission to bring a common-law suit against P. To be signed by Marbeck, Doylie & Paddy.
Pressure applied by Collegeyes
Action takenCollege wrote to Queen's Council asking permission to take P to law
30 Nov 1598
EntryColl wrote long letter (Goodall 117-8), pointing out the legal position and asking to be allowed to use 'the ordinary course of law' against P, otherwise others would follow him and endanger the lives of EI's subjects. Various FRCPs to approach Lord Buckhurst, Essex, Lord Admiral, Archbishop of Canterbury, Secretary (Lord Cecil) & Lord Fortescue. Queen's Council replied, case to go to arbitration, 7-man panel (Lord Herbert, Master of Requests; Francis Bacon; SMITH, BROWNE, JAMES, Royal Physicians and FRCPs; Thomas Smith & William Wade, Clerks of Council).
Action takenLetter written and sent. Council replied by setting up tribunal.
11 Jan 1599
EntryCommissioners reported that P should confess and acknowledge that he had offended the College by transgressing their licence, that their censure was just, acknowledge his fault & accept fine of 5 marks & give bond of £100 for good behaviour in future. He shd relinquish his licence until he did submit, when it would be returned.
Action takenArbitrators decided P should submit - fine 5 marks, bond £100.
18 May 1590
EntryP, deacon of Lincoln, sought a licence to practise in the French disease, fevers and rheumatism. He was examined, found to be ignorant and refused a licence. However, because of the representations of 'certain persons', his previous misdeeds were to be overlooked, but he was forbidden to practise in any part of medicine in the future.
Attitude of the accusedasked for College membership
Pressure applied by Collegeyes
Action takenExamined and rejected. Not fined, but forbidden to practise.
Verdictguilty
SentenceForbidden to practise. Excused fine because of patrons.
16 Jan 1599
EntryP appeared and followed the conditions precisely, paying into Dr Gilbert's hand the 5 marks fine. He delivered up his licence, which was to be given back at the next meeting (see next).
Action takenP submitted to the College and paid 5 marks fine.
22 Jan 1599
EntryP's licence was redelivered to him.
Action takenLRCP again.
3 Feb 1599
EntryOne Higginson complained that P had given H's wife a potion on Thursday, a purgative on Friday and a fumigant on Sunday; she had died on the following Thursday from excessive purging.
Initiator of the complaintspouse of the patient
Action taken?
Verdictcase not completed
Number of crimes1
5 July 1600
EntryDr Bright complained about P's treatment of one Palmer.
Initiator of the complaintcollege member
Action takenP ordered to appear.
Verdictcase not completed
Number of crimes1
25 June 1601
EntryP was summoned and blamed for the death of a nobleman, Allen. The President and Censor examined him on the case. He said A had acute abdominal pains and vomiting for 2 days, but no fever. He had administered a clyster and had then suspected an imperfect pleurisy & had let blood by a surgeon A had sent for. Eventually P confessed he had not known what the disease was.
Attitude of the accusedconfessed
Action takenFined £13.
Verdictguilty
SentenceFined £13
Number of crimes1
22 Dec 1604
EntryP was charged with practice in 'chlorosis or cacochymy'. He claimed they were skin diseases, for which he was licensed. He was warned not to use that pretext in future and that the College, not he, wd fix the limits of his licence.
Action takenWarned ?and dismissed.
Verdictguilty
SentenceWarned to keep within terms of licence
30 Jan 1606
EntryP asked for a general licence to extend the restricted one he already had. Rejected by a majority.
Attitude of the accusedasked for College membership
Action takenLicence not extended to cover all diseases.
11 Dec 1606
EntryThe Earls of Suffolk, Northampton and Salisbury sent a letter requesting a general licence for P. A majority of FRCPs this time allowed it, though the existing licence was extended rather than any new papers sealed.
Attitude of the accusedasked for College membership
Pressure applied by Collegeyes
Action takenLicence extended to general permission.
22 Dec 1606
EntryA copy was made of P's licence, which WAS in fact a new document, i.e. letters patent.
Attitude of the accusedasked for College membership
Action takenP's new Licence was copied.
30 June 1590
EntryThe Earl of Essex had sent a letter on P's behalf, dated 20 May 1590. P was one of E's physicians, molested by the College for practising on his [whose?] friends. E was confident of P's abilities and there were numerous testimonies to it, e.g. MUFFETT (E's physician). E asked the College not to trouble P but to tolerate him. Coll replied, E was mistaken, P was dangerous, M had changed his mind.
Attitude of the accusedabsent
Pressure applied by Collegeyes
Action takenCollege refused to tolerate P.
22 Dec 1590
EntryThe Earl of Essex wrote again about P.
Pressure applied by Collegeyes
Action takenNo decision.
8 Jan 1591
EntryP appeared.
Attitude of the accusedasked for College membership
Action takenNo decision.
5 Feb 1591
EntryPoe [among others] was to be asked to appear at the next Comitia.
Attitude of the accusedabsent
Action takenTo be summoned to the next Comitia.
5 March 1591
EntryP was examined. He confessed to practising for 2 years and claimed to have cured many epileptics. Asked what epilepsy was, he said it was 'water gathered about the cells of the heart'. He gave an account of his cures for gonorrhea, melancholy and epilepsy. He was currently treating Ward, leatherseller, for fever, and Pemberton for red face. He habitually treated members of Essex's household.
Attitude of the accusedconfessed
Action takenTo be fined £20.
Verdictguilty
SentenceTo be fined £20
Number of crimes2
5 Nov 1591
EntryP was summoned.
Attitude of the accusedabsent
Action takenSummoned.


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