Clowes, William

, an eminent surgeon, of whom little is known, except what can be collected from his works, flourished in the time of queen Elizabeth, and was for some time a navy surgeon, serving on board one of the queen’s ships, called the Aid, when the emperor’s daughter married Philip II. king of Spain, in 1570. He returned home, and resided several years at London, where he acquired great reputation, as may be inferred from his having been several years surgeon of St. Bartholomew’s and Christ’s hospitals, before he was sent for by letters from the earl of Leicester, general of the English forces in the Low Countries, to take upon him the care of the sick and wounded in 1586. He was surgeon to her majesty, and mentions his having served with Banister under the earl of Warwick; and also speaks in another place of having been a retainer to lord Abergavenny. He seems to have been in full practice about 1596, the date of his last publication, a treatise on the venereal disease, reprinted in 1637; and he laments the frequency of this disorder in England; of which he gives this proof, that in the space of five years he had cured upwards of a thousand venereal patients in vSt. Bartholomew’s hospital. His most capital performance is his approved Practice for all young chirurgeons, 1591, re-printed in 1596 and 1637. He is a strong advocate for writing medical chirurgical books in the vernacular language, and his practice was always ingenious, and often successful. 2


Aikin’s Biographical Memoirs of Medicine.