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BATE, George (1608-1669)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0113 MS-BATEG
Held at: Royal College of Physicians
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Full title: BATE, George (1608-1669)
Date(s): 1654-1660
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 1 volume
Name of creator(s): Bate | George | 1608-1669 | physician


Administrative/Biographical history:

George Bate was born in Maids Morton, Buckinghamshire, in 1608, the son of John Bate of Barton, Buckinghamshire. He began his studies at New College, Oxford, in 1622. He then transferred to Queens College for a time, before eventually entering St Edmund Hall. Here he obtained his BA, in 1626, and then his MA, in 1629. He graduated MB on 1 March 1629, and obtained a licence to practice from the University.

Bate practiced in and around Oxford over the next few years. He obtained his MD on 7 July 1637, and continued to practice with great success. Whilst the Court remained at Oxford Bate had become physician to the King, despite it first being thought that he was a puritan. When the King and his Court returned to London Bate followed, and settled in the capital. He was admitted a Candidate of the Royal College of Physicians in 1639, and a Fellow in 1640. Bate served as Censor of the College in 1645, 1646, and 1648.

Bate made several literary contributions, both political and medical. The Royal Apologie, or Declaration of the Commons in Parliament 11th February 1647 Canvassed (1648) has been attributed to him, although some doubt has been expressed regarding the validity of this claim of authorship (Munk's Roll, vol. I, p.230). The publication, Elenchus Motuum nuperorum in Anglia simul ac Juris Regii ac Parliamentarii brevis Narratio (1649), is a Latin version of a re-worked part of the aforementioned work. They are both a defence of the King's acts in his quarrel with Parliament, and profess to have been drawn up from authentic records. Bate shared authorship of two medical books; firstly Francis Glisson's De Rachitide (1650), in which Glisson named Bate as one of the physicians who worked out, with him, the observation of rickets; and secondly the posthumously published Pharmacopoeia Bateana (1688), which professes to be a collection of his prescriptions.

Throughout the Interregnum, 1649-60, having entered as physician to the Charterhouse soon after arriving in London, Bate acted as chief physician to Oliver Cromwell whilst he was General, and afterwards Protector. During this time, in 1657, he was named an Elect at the Royal College of Physicians.

With the Restoration of Charles II in 1660, Bate, again a Royalist, reacquainted himself with the Royal party and was made physician to the King. Indeed it has been noted that `amidst all the mutations of those changeful times... Dr Bate always contrived to be the chief state physician' (ibid, p.229). It was also at this time that Bate became one of the earliest fellows of the Royal Society. In 1666 he delivered the anatomy lectures to the Royal College of Physicians.

Bate died at his house in Hatton Garden, London, on 19 April 1669, at the age of 60. He was buried at Kingston-Upon-Thames, with his wife Elizabeth. An inscribed monument was erected to his memory in the chancel of the church.

Publications: The Royal Apologie, or Declaration of the Commons in Parliament 11th February 1647 Canvassed (anonymous, thought to be Bate) (London, 1648)
Elenchus Motuum nuperorum in Anglia simul ac Juris Regii ac Parliamentarii brevis Narratio (anonymous thought to be Bate) (London, 1649)
De Rachitide, sive Morbo Puerili qui Vulgo The Rickets Dicitur, Tractatus, Adscitis in Operis Societatem, F. Glisson, G. Bate, & A. Regemortero (London, 1650) (Treatise of the Rickets, Being a Disease Common to Children ... by F. Glisson, G. Bate & A. Regemorter; translated by P. Armin (London, 1651)
Pharmacopoeia Bateana, G. Bate & J. Shipton (London, 1688)


Scope and content/abstract:

Bate's medical casebook, 1654-1660. Containing record of prescriptions given to his patients, also includes notes and sketches.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
English and Latin

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:


Conditions governing reproduction:

All requests should be referred to the Archivist

Finding aids:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Provenance of the collection is unknown

Allied Materials

Related material:

There is material relating to Bate elsewhere in the College archives. The casebook of Sir Theodore Turquet de Mayerne, 1607-51 (MS444), includes medical correspondence with Bate;

Medical recipe book of Bate's is held at the Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine. See the National Register of Archives for details.

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Sources: The Roll of the Royal College of Physicians of London; Comprising Biographical Sketches, 1518-1700, William Munk (London, 1878) [Munk's Roll, vol. I, pp.228-30]; Dictionary of National Biography, vol. III, Leslie Stephen (ed.) (London, 1885) [DNB, vol. III, p.390]; Historical Manuscripts Commission On-Line National Register of Archives.
Compiled by Katharine Williams

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives, Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
March 2003

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