His father was a wealthy ship-builder in Deptford. A student at the Magdalen Hall, Oxford, he qualified in medicine at the University of Cambridge. He joined the College of Physicians in 1643, and became physician to Charles I of England when he was held captive by Parliament. In the 1650s he was made Warden of Merton College, Oxford (1651), and was one of the 'Oxford club' group around John Wilkins. He was also a Member of Parliament in Barebone's Parliament. He became Professor of Physic at Gresham College in 1655.
On the English Restoration of 1660, he lost his position at Merton. But his early position in the Royal Society was solid, and indeed at the beginning of 1661, when the Society was homeless and moved to Gresham College, it met in his lodgings.
|Warden of Merton College,