Daniel Duncan

(1649—1735) physician

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Daniel Duncan was born in Montauban, Languedoc and died in London. His father (who was a Professor of Medicine) and mother both died when he was a child, leaving his education to the charge of an uncle. He studied at Puy Laurens (where he became friendly with fellow student Pierre Bayle), then went on to the famous medical school of Montpellier, graduating MD in 1673. After graduation, he went to Paris where, under the patronage of Colbert, he was appointed physician general to the French army. The years between 1678 and 1680 he spent in London, being recalled to France by Colbert in 1681. After Colbert's death in 1683, Duncan returned to his native Montauban, where he was well received and established a successful medical practice. There he might have stayed but for the revocation of the Edict of Nantes by Louis XIV in 1685, which made life increasingly difficult for Protestants in France. In 1690 Duncan moved to Switzerland, where he practised in Geneva and Berne and gave what financial assistance he could to French Protestant émigrés. In 1699 he was invited to Kassel in Hesse by the Landgrave, moving on to Berlin in 1702, where he was briefly Professor of Medicine and physician to the royal family. From 1703 to 1714 he practised in The Hague, then for the last twenty years of his life in London, where he treated patients gratis – after reaching the age of seventy he never took a fee.


From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Philosophy.

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