studied medicine at Montpellier and Padua, received a doctorate from Leiden, and settled in Norwich c.1637 to practise medicine. Religio Medici (1642), first published without his consent, quickly made him famous by its distinctive wit and style. His most ambitious work, Pseudodoxia Epidemica (1646; commonly known as Vulgar Errors), established him as a man of learning. In the 1650s he wrote for friends the shorter tracts Hydriotaphia or Urn Burial, The Garden of Cyrus, and A Letter to a Friend (published 1690); the latter overlapping in content with Christian Morals (1716), a sententious piece which was re‐edited in 1756 by Dr Johnson, who prefaced it with a substantial ‘Life’. He was knighted in 1671 by Charles II.