Chamber, John

, a learned physician in the sixteenth century, noted chiefly for being one of the founders of the college of physicians, London, was educated in Merton college in Oxford, of which he was fellow. He took his degree of master of arts about the year 1502; after which, travelling into Italy, he studied physic at Padua, and there took his degree of doctor in that faculty. After his return, he became physician to Henry VIII.; and with Thomas Linacre and others, founded the college of physicians. Henry VHIth’s charter, for the foundation of this college, bears date at Westminster, September 23, 1518, and is said to have been obtained at the request of Dr. John Chamber, Thomas Linacre, Fernandez de Victoria, his physicians; and of Nicolas Halsewell, John Fraunces, and Robert Yaxley, of the same faculty: but especially through the intercession and interest of cardinal Wolsey. The first college of this society was in Knight Rider-street, being the gift of Dr. Linacre. Afterwards they removed to Amen-corner, where they bought an house and ground but the house being burnt down in 1666, the fellows purchased a large piece of ground in Warwick-lane, upon which they erected the present college. The number of fellows at first was but thirty. Charles II. at their request, augmented the number to forty. And James II. in their new charter, was pleased to increase the number to eighty, and not to exceed. To the college belong, at present, a president, four censors, and twelve electors.

Dr. Chamber, being in holy orders, became in 1510 canon of Windsor, and in 1524 archdeacon of Bedford, and was likewise prebendary of Comb and Harnham in the cathedral church of Sarum. In 1525 he was elected warden of Merton college; and about the same time was made dean of the royal chapel and college adjoining to Westminster- hall, dedicated to the Virgin Mary and St. | Stephen. He built to it a very curious cloister, at the expence of 11,000 marks, and gave the canons of that chapel some lands, which he saw, upon the dissolution of the monasteries, taken into the king’s hands. Afterwards he was made treasurer of Wells cathedral, beneficed in Somersetshire and Yorkshire, and probably had other dignities and preferments. October 29, 1531, he was incorporated doctor of physic at Oxford. In May 1543, he resigned his treasurership of Wells; and his wardenship of Merton college in 1545. He died in 1549. He never published any thing. 1


Biog. Brit.—Ath. Ox. vol. I.