Brady, Robert

, a noted historian and physician of the seventeenth century, was born in the county of Norfolk, and admitted in Caius college in Cambridge, February 20, 1643. He took his degree of bachelor of physic in 1653, and was created doctor in that faculty September 5, 1660, by virtue of the king’s mandatory letters. On the first of December the same year, he was, in pursuance of king Charles’s mandate, elected master of his college, upon the resignation of Dr. Bachcroft. About the year 1670, or as some think not until 1685, he was appointed keeper of the records in the Tower of London; in which office he employed himself in perusing those most valuable monuments in his possession, with a view to his historical works. Some time after, he was chosen regius professor of physic in the university of Cambridge. In 1679, he wrote a letter to Dr. Sydenham, on the influence of the air, &c. which is published among that learned person’s works. But his largest and most considerable performance was, “An Introduction to the old English History,” in which he maintains these three propositions: 1. That the representatives of the commons in parliament, viz. knights, citizens, and burgesses, were not introduced till the forty-ninth of Henry III.; 2. That William, duke of Normandy, made an absolute conquest of the nation; 3. That the succession to the crown of England is hereditary (descending to the nearest of blood), and not elective: And “A complete | History of England, from the first entrance of the Romans, unto the end of the reign of king Richard II.” in three vols. fol. about which he was employed several years, and which was printed 1685 and 1700, usually bound in two volumes. In the year 1681 he was chosen one of the representatives for the university of Cambridge, in that parliament which met at Oxford; and again in 1685, in the parliament of king James II. He was likewise physician in ordinary to this king; and, on the twenty -second of October, 1688, was one of those persons who gave in their depositions concerning the birth of the pretended prince of Wales. He died on the nineteenth of August, 1700. He was an accurate writer, and a curious and diligent searcher into our ancient records; but his impartiality has been called in question, particularly by those who contend for the higher antiquity of parliaments, and a larger proportion of popular influence in the constitution. Tyrell wrote his “General History of England,” in opposition to that of Brady. Dr. Gilbert Stuart, who hated all Scotch historians except himself, maintains that Hume executed his History on Brady’s principles; allowing Brady to pdssess an excellent understanding and admirable quickness, Dr. Stuart asserts also, that he was the slave of a faction. Dr. Brady’s other publications were, “An Answer to Mr. Petyt’s Book on Parliaments,London, 1681, 8vo;- and “An Historical Treatise of Cities and Burghs or Boroughs,” ibid. 1690, fol. reprinted 1704. 1


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