Thomas Fuller, M. D., 1654 - 1734

portrait of Thomas Fuller, M. D.


Born: 24 June 1654, Rosehill, Brightling, Sussex, England
Died: 17 September 1734, Sevenoaks, Kent, England

Fuller was born in a large country house named Rosehill, his family had prospered in the iron-smelting era. Fuller studied at Queens' College, Cambridge, graduating in 1676 and earning an M.D. five years later. Admitted to practice medicine by the College of Physicians of London he opened a clinic at Sevenoaks, Kent where he was popular until cataracts interfered, he spent the rest of his life there. He wrote three significant medical texts including the first detailed qualifications for nurses. He also assembled several volumes of pithy advice, two of which (Introductio ad Prudentiam and Gnomologia) are well represented in my database. While scanning through Gnomologia there are dozens of entries that Benjamin Franklin used, often verbatim, in Poor Richard's Almanack a few years later, but also a great many things that were lifted from scripture or Cervantes. In both of these volumes, each entry is preceded by a sequential number. I find that disconcerting, and in the case of Gnomologia they are in alphabetical order anyway, but I have referenced the number of each entry in the source following the quote in most cases.

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