TRIGGE, William


Institute of Historical Research



Margaret Pelling, Frances White

Year published


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'TRIGGE, William', Physicians and Irregular Medical Practitioners in London 1550-1640: Database (2004). URL: Date accessed: 28 November 2014.


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William TRIGGE


NameWilliam TRIGGE
Primary occupationnon-medical (Shoemaker 1630. Servant of Queen 1631. Last maker. Distiller of waters. Surgeon. Apothecary 1638.)
Period of medical practice1620-1663
Place of birthEngland (from Canterbury, Kent)
Date of deathafter 1663
AddressNear Coale Harbour 1630. Thames Street, Tower Hill, 1634. ?St Benet Pauls Wharf, 1655-63.
Other notesAccused 1630-1 (fined & imprisoned), 1632-8. Practised surgery 1637.

Known London address

near Coale Harbour
ParishAll Hallows the Less (in the Ropery)
Thames Street, Tower Hill
ParishTower Liberty = St Peter ad Vincula (in the Bailey)
WardTower (Street)
St Benet's Paul's Wharf (??)
ParishSt Benet Paul's Wharf (Hithe)
WardCastle Baynard

Censorial hearings

10 Dec 1630
EntryTrigge, a shoemaker neare 'Coale harbor', was to be summoned on account of practice. Mr. Dalsfield was to be summoned.
Attitude of the accusedabsent
Action takenTo be summoned.
11 June 1632
EntryThe Warden of the Fleet had handed over the £20 to Dr Hodson, who now gave it to the Treasurer, Dr Fox.
Action takenT's bail of £20 was accepted.
23 Dec 1633
EntryDr Hodson said that T had given physic to a child for rickets in Aldermanburye on the 22nd December 1633.
Initiator of the complaintcollege member
Action taken?
Verdictcase not completed
Number of crimes1
5 Dec 1634
Entry'Dr Spicer related that Trigge who liues in Thames street towards Tower hill, gaue phisicke to one Mr. Eels a Cooke in Tower street Nouember 12 1634.'
Initiator of the complaintcollege member
Action taken?
Verdictcase not completed
Number of crimes1
10 March 1637
Entry'Dr. Oxenbridge complayned that Trigg vndertooke to cure an hydropicall woman by way of paracentesis and that the patient died within 14 dayes after. her name was goodwife Thomson, she lay at one Mr. Jones his house vpon Colledge Hill.'
Initiator of the complaintcollege member
Attitude of the accusedabsent
Action taken?Summoned to appear
Number of crimes1
5 May 1637
Entry'Trigs wife came to excuse her husbands absence. She confessed he was by his breeding a shoomaker. butt now he made profession only of distilling waters, and that he did vse to give certaine powders, and Cordials to such as were infected with the plague.'
Action takenFailed to appear.
20 Oct 1637
EntryHenry Aron, surgeon, said that he'd been called to view widow Thomson's body (see above, entry 13), and had seen that Trig had opened her belly in the wrong place. Dr Oxenbridge and Dr Rant [sic] had also witnessed this. Mrs T had died within a few days [of the operation.
Initiator of the complaintother medical practitioner
Second initiator of the complaintcollege member
Third initiator of the complaintcollege member
Action takenSee next.
Number of crimes1
10 Jan 1638
EntryT was brought to the College by a Messenger of the Counsell Table. He confessed that he had operated on Mrs Thomson, but only in Mr Pordage's presence and with his help. He had learnt this surgery by watching Mrs Nokes a midwife dissect the body of a patient who had died of the dropsy. 'Butt the Censors iudged it a bold dangerous and vnlawfull practise'.
Action takenFined £20 and imprisoned in Newgate.
SentenceFined £20 and imprisoned in Newgate
Number of crimes1
19 Jan 1638
Entry'Triggs wife appeared as a sutor for her husband lying in Newgate, and being questioned touching her husbands practise, she affirmed that he made his pills and electuaries himself, and particularly, that he makes mithridate and London Treacle. That he hath practised physique in London this 4 yeares viz. since he came from Canterbury. and that otherwise he could not have lived.'
Attitude of the accusedconfessed
Action takenT was released on payment of the £20 fine by his wife.
26 Jan 1638
Entry'Mr Trig appeared vpon summons at which tyme he was interdicted to practise physique any more vpon payne of the severest punishment. He professed that he was bred and brought vp in the distilling of waters to which trade he purposed to apply himself. and complayned that many distillers of Aqua vitae in London made vse of the Lees of Starch wash and such trash ...' and he would prove it.
Action takenWarned and dismissed.
11 Sep 1640
EntryEmery, Hubbart and Trigg were to be summoned to appear in the next Comitia.
Attitude of the accusedabsent
Action takenTo be summoned.
Verdictcase not completed
28 Jan 1631
EntryT, a servant of the Queen, confessed that he had given medicines to children for rickets, and also for dysentery, the plague and gout. But since he understood he was not permitted to do these things, from henceforth he would observe the President's commands and would entirely abstain from practice.
Action takenPromised to abstain in future.
SentencePromised to abstain in future
11 Feb 1631
EntryT, a last maker, was included in a list of illegal practitioners who gained immunity as royal servants. This list was sent with a petition to the Lord Chamberlain. (Others on it were BLANKE 92, BLAYDEN 93, BUGGS 130, BUTLER 135, DUNCOMBE 240, HILL ?395 and GLOVER friend of BUTLER.)
Action takenPetition sent. Reply said Coll. could prosecute these people.
SentenceTo be prosecuted at law
3 June 1631
EntryElizabeth, wife of Thomas Goodridge of Holy Ghost Stairs, accused T of giving G medicine for 20s., for which she pawned clothes &c.: drink, pills, plaster, vomit, purges, poultice, cordial, more pills. No cure. Asked whether he was the K's or Q's servant, T said he was God's. He admitted treating G (after BUTLER, 135), with 1, 2, 3 & 4 (below), then neglecting him. 8 satisfied patients spoke for T.
Initiator of the complaintspouse of the patient
Attitude of the accusedconfessed
Action takenFound guilty of bad practice. Imprisoned till he paid £10 fine.
SentenceFined £10 and imprisoned till he paid it
Number of crimes1
23 Sep 1631
Entry'Mr Cooke the Chirurgeon [COOKE 184, qv] reporteth that Mr. Trigg gave phisicke to Mrs Barnabye.'
Initiator of the complaintother medical practitioner
Action takenSee next.
14 Oct 1631
Entry'Mr Cooke the Chirurgeon informeth that vpon the 13th of August 1631 one Trigge came to Mrs Barnabye in Fanchurch street who was sick of a Burning feauer, that hee gave her a clyster and a cordiall, and that one the 14 of August hee gave her a vomitt of his owne preparinge, after which shee grew worse, still declining till the 18th of August vpon which daye shee dyed.' Written evidence was given to the College.
Initiator of the complaintother medical practitioner
Action taken?
Verdictcase not completed
Number of crimes1
2 Nov 1631
Entry'Consideration to bee had about collecting good proofes against George Butler, John Buggs and William Trigg.'
Action takenEvidence to be collected (for lawsuit)
SentenceTo be prosecuted at law
26 March 1632
Entry'Phillip Tiller of London bridge clothworker and William Ley of Lumberd street, who weare bayle for Trigge desyred to bee releeved by the Colledge. Answeare was made that if they restored the prisoner they should be freed.'
Action taken?
30 May 1632
EntryDr Winston said that T had escaped from the Fleet prison and his bail of £25 was due to the College from the Warden of the Fleet. The Warden requested a mitigation and offered the College £20. The College agreed to accept the £20 (leaving the business to Dr Winston's discretion) provided that if the Warden ever recovered the other £5 from T (or his sureties) he should pay that to the College too.
Action takenCollege accepted £20 for T's bail.

TRACY, ?Thomas