Henry Blackwood

(c. 1533—1614) physician

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Henry Blackwood was born in Dunfermline and died in Paris. He must have enrolled at the University of Paris by 1553, since he was at that date already Professor of Humanities and Philosophy. By 1557 he was a regent in arts at the College de Boncourt, but he later moved to the College of Harcourt, where he fell out with the Principal in December 1568. In that year he also became a Bachelor of Medicine and thereafter constantly appears in the Paris medical faculty records until the year of his death. In 1572 he was created doctor, and three years later he is described as physician to the king of Scotland. Between 1590 and 1595 he was Dean of the medical faculty and inaugurated a programme of reform. He helped draw up new rules for University messengers on 18 September 1584, and as Dean, in April 1594, he signed an oath of loyalty to the French King Henri IV. From a letter of 1605 we gather that he kept in touch with Scotland and acted as postman for letters meant for his brother Adam Blackwood in Poitiers. When the future Pope Urban VIII, Maffeo Barberini, was nuncio in Paris he acted as his personal physician. He also served as physician to Archbishop James Beaton, then in exile in Paris, and in that connection was styled by Peter Lowe, founder of the Glasgow Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons, as ‘the famous and learned mediciner’. Only two books of verse are ascribed to him, Elogia in scholis medicorum in iv candidatorum medicinae gratiam habita (1608), and Caroli Seuerini, Ludovici filii, genethliacon (1612). His notes on Hippocrates, Galen and Alexander Trallianus are mentioned by Dempster. These may have existed (his son edited Hippocrates) but presumably remained in manuscript.

From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Philosophy.

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