- Linacre, Thomas
- (ca. 1460-1524)English humanist and physician. He grew up in Canterbury and studied at Oxford before going to Florence (1487-1493), where he studied classical languages under Demetrius Chalcondyles and Angelo Poliziano. He then took a medical doctorate at Padua in 1496. He became an assistant to the Venetian printer Aldus Manutius, working on Aldus' Greek edition of Aristotle and a Latin translation of Proclus' De sphaera / On Spheres. Though offered a position teaching medicine at Padua, he returned to England and after 1509 became physician to King Henry VIII and tutor to the king's daughter, Princess Mary. He lectured at Oxford and in 1518 founded the Royal College of Physicians. Linacre's goal as a humanist-educated reformer of medicine was to make ancient Greek medical authors available to contemporary physicians, especially in England. He translated several works of the major Greek medical authority, Galen, into Latin between 1517 and 1523. His influence helped to establish the theory of humors and complexions as the basis of medical practice in England. He corresponded with many of the leading humanists of his time, not only Englishmen like Thomas More, John Colet, and William Lily but also leading Continental figures such as Erasmus and Guillaume Budé. He also produced a Latin grammar, originally devised for Princess Mary. Recognizing the backwardness of English medical education in comparison to Italy's, he founded lectureships in medicine at both Oxford and Cambridge.
Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. Charles G. Nauert. 2004.