Hodges, Nathaniel

, an English physician, was the son of Dr. Thomas Hodges, dean of Hereford, of whom there are three printed sermons. He was educated in Westminster-school, and became a student of Christ-church, Oxford, in 1648. In 1651 and 1654, he took the degrees of B. and M. A. and, in 1659, accumulated the degrees of B. and M. D. He settled in London, and was, in 1672, made fellow of the College of Physicians. He remained in the metropolis during the continuance of the plague in 1665, when most of the physicians, and Sydenham among the rest, retired to the country: and, with another of his brethren, he visited the infected during the whole of that terrible visitation. These two physicians, indeed, appear to have been appointed by the city of London to attend the diseased, with a stipend. Dr. Hodges was twice taken ill during the prevalence of the disease; but by the aid of timely remedies he recovered. His mode of performing his perilous duty was to receive early every morning, at his own house, the persons who came to give reports of the sick, and convalescents, for advice; he then made his forenoon visits to the infected, causing a pan of coals to be carried before him with perfumes, and chewing troches while he was in the sick chamber. He repeated his visits in the afternoon. His chief prophylactic was a liberal use of Spanish wine, and cheerful society after the business of the day. It is much to be lamented that such a man afterwards fell into unfortunate circumstances, and was confined for debt in Ludgate prison, where he died in 1684. His body was interred in the church of St. Stephen’s, Walbrook, London, where a monument is erected to him. He is author of two works: 1. “Vindiciae Medicinse et Medicorum: An Apology for the Profession and Professors | of Physic, &c. 1660,” 8vo. 2. “Aoj/t*oXoyi sive, pestis nuperoe apud populum Londinensem grassantis narratio historica,1672, 8vo. A translation of it into English was printed at London in 1720, 8vo, under the following title: “Loimologia, or, an Historical Account of the Plague of London in 1665, with precautionary Directions against the like Contagion. To which is added, an Essay on the different causes of pestilential diseases, and how they become contagious. With remarks on the infection now in France, and the most probable means to prevent its spreading here;” the latter by John Quincy, M. D. In 1721, there was printed at London, in 8vo, “A collection of very valuable and scarce pieces relating to the last plague in 1665;” among which is “An account of the first rise, progress, symptoms, and cure of the Plague; being the substance of a letter from Dr. Hodges to a person of quality, dated from his house in Watling-street, May the 8th, 1666.” The author of the preface to this collection calls our author “a faithful historian and diligent physician;” and tells us, that “he may be reckoned among the best observers in any age of physic, and has given us a true picture of the plague in his own time.1


Ath. Ox. vol. II. Gen. Dict. Rees’s Cyclopædia.