Gilbertus, Anglicus

, the first practical writer on medicine whom this country produced, is placed by Bale (who calls him Gilbertus Legleus, and says he was physician to Hubert, archbishop of Canterbury,) in the reign of king John, about 1210; but Leland, without stating the grounds of his opinion, makes him more modern, and Dr. Freind thinks that he must have lived in the beginning of the reign of Edward 1.; “for he quotes Averrhoes,” Dr. Freind remarks, “who reached the close of the twelfth century; and whose works could not have been translated so early, and indeed were not translated till the middle, at least, of the thirteenth, as Bacon, a good voucher,


Lord Bacon frequently mentions Gilbert’s Book with applause; and in one place particularly styles it a painful and experimental work, (Advancement of Learning, L. i. c. 13.) words, in his lordship’s mouth, of singular force and extent of meaning, and which are handsomely illustrated by the compliment of Mr. Wright prefixed to the book; by which it appears that our author spent tfo less that eighteen years in bringing it to perfection.

| informs” us: and the mention he makes of a book, * de Speculis,' which, without doubt, is that written by Bacon, and what he transcribes from Theodorick, concerning a leprosy, evidently shews that he lived low in this century, &c.“According to Leiand, he maintained a high character for his knowledge in philosophy and physic, which he had acquired by great study and much travelling; and he was very successful in his practice. His writings are principally compiled from those of the Arabian physicians, like the works of his contemporaries in other nations; sometimes, indeed, he transcribes whole chapters word for word, especially from Rhazes. He is represented as the first English physician who ventured to expose the absurd practices of the superstitious monks, who at that time engrossed much of the treatment of diseases, and is said to have contrasted with them the methods recommended by the ancients. The principal work of Gilbert, entitled” Compendium Medicinse tain morborum universalium quam particularium,“was corrected by Michael Capella, and printed at Lyons in 1510; and afterwards at Geneva, in 1608, under the title of” Laurea Anglicana, seu Compendium totius Medicinse.“His other treatises were,” De viribus Aquarum“”De Re Herbaria;“” Thesaurus Pauperum“and” De tuenda valetudine." 1
1 Leland, Freind’s Hist, of Physic. Tanner in Leglaeus, lues’s Cyclopw^i*.