Dr. Linacre

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Thomas Linacre, MD as played by Clive Geraghty

born c.1460 - died 20 Oct 1524
Character's backstory: This distinguished scholar and physician, the founder and first President of the College of Physicians, was born at Brampton in Derbyshire and educated in Canterbury. About the year 1501 he was summoned from Oxford to the court, to undertake the office of preceptor and physician to Prince Arthur; and to these duties is said to have been added the still more important charge of the King's (Henry VII.) health, in the capacity of domestic physician.
After the deaths of his brother & father, Henry VIII appointed him as guardian of his health earning 50 pounds per annum which meant he resided occasionally at court. Linacre maintained a high visibility as a physician to the Elite. He counted as his patients, Erasmus, Sir Thomas More , Bishop Tunstall, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, Archbishop William Warham, Bishop Fox & the reformer Hugh Latimer. He was responsible for the first Medical Act of 1512, the first parliamentary enactment about medical affairs. Linacre convinced Henry to found the Royal College of Physicians in 1518 probably in response to the plague which had driven the Court from London.He also studied theology and was ordained in 1509. He spent two years traveling in Italy to learn Greek, afterwards he was shocked the Gospels in Greek were crucially different than the Latin Vulgate which had been mistakenly re-transcribed for over a thousand years. He famously spoke about the different translations, "Either this (original Greek) is not the gospel or we are not Christians!" His studies inspired a theological movement in England to return to the original Greek Gospels over the Latin Vulgate of the Roman Catholic Church. He was nominated in 1517 to a canonry and prebend in the collegiate church of St. Stephen's, Westminster. His last royal appointment was as tutor of Italian to the 5 year old Princess Mary Tudor in 1523. He was buried at St Paul's Cathedral.


Position: The King's Physician

Personality type: Known for his intellectual fastidiousness and minute accuracy.
"In private life he had an utter detestation of every thing that was dishonourable; he was a faithful friend, and was valued and beloved by all ranks in life. He showed a remarkable kindness to young students in his profession; and those whom he found distinguished for ingenuity, modesty, learning, good manners, or a desire to excel, he assisted with his advice, his interest, and his purse.
"'In short' (to use the words of Dr. Friend), 'he was, in his own time, reckoned by the best judges a man of a bright genius and a clear understanding, as well as of unusual knowledge in different parts of learning; and his works, which are now extant, will fully satisfy us that he deserved this character. He was one, who, both living and dead, by his writings and benefactions, has done great honour not only to his profession but also to his country.'" [source : The Life of Dr. Linacre by Dr. J. Noble Johnson,1835]

Signature look:

Endearing trait(s): He was an eminent philosopher

Annoying trait(s):

For more on King Henry's Health issues click here
Dr. Linacre


Family members:






Dr Linacre Dr, Linacre
Dr. Linacre

Dr Linacre
Thomas Linacre
Dr. Linacre
Dr. Linacre