Mapletoft, John

, a very learned Englishman, was descended from a good family in Huntingdonshire, and born at Margaret-Inge, in June 1631. He was educated under the famous Busby at Westminster-school, and being king’s scholar, was elected thence to Trinity college, Cambridge, in 1648. He took his degrees in arts at the regular time,‘ and was made fellow of his college in 1653. In 1658 he left the college in order to be tutor to Joscelin, son of Algernon, the last earl of Northumberland, with whom he continued till 1660, and then travelled at his own ex pence, to qualify himself for the profession of physic, into which he had resolved to enter some years before. He passed through France to Rome, where he lived near a year in the house of the hon. Algernon Sidney, to whom he was recommended by his uncle the earl of Northumberland. In 1663 he returned to England, and to that earl’s family; and, taking his doctor of physic’s degree at Cambridge in 1667, he practised in London. Here he | contraded an acquaintance with many eminent persons in his own faculty, as Willis, Sydenham, Locke; and with several of the most distinguished divines, as Whichcote, Tillotson, Patrick, Sherlock, Stillingfleet, Sharp, and Clagget. In 1670 he attended lord Essex in his embassy to Denmark; and, in 1672, waited on the lady dowager Northumberland into France. In March 1675, he was chosen professor of physic in Gresbam college, London; and, in 1676, attended the lord ambassador Montague, and lady Northumberland, to France. The same year Dr. Sydenham published his “Observationes medicas circa morborum acutorum historiam et curationem,” which he dedicated to Dr. Mapletoft; who, at the desire of the author, had translated them into Latin. He held his professorship at Gresham till October 1679, and married the month following.

Soon after his marriage he relinquished the practice of physic, and retired, in order to turn his studies to divinity. In March 1682, he took both deacon’s and priest’s orders, and was soon after presented to the rectory of Braybrooke in Northamptonshire, by lord Griffin. In 1684 he was chosen lecturer of Ipswich, and a year after, vicar of St. Lawrence Jewry, and lecturer of St. Christopher’s in London. In 1689 he accumulated his doctor’s degree in divinity, while king William was at Cambridge. In 1707 he was chosen president of Sion college, having been a benefactor to their building and library. He continued to preach in his church of St. Lawrence Jewry till he was turned of eighty; and, when he was thinking of retiring, he printed a book entitled “The principles and duties of the Christian religion,” &c. 1710, 8vo, a copy of which he sent to every house in his parish. He lived the last ten years of his life with his only daughter Elizabeth, the wife of Dr. Gastrell, bishop of Chester, sometimes at Oxford, and in the winter at Westminster, where he died in 1721, in his ninety-first year. He’ was a very polite scholar, wrote Latin elegantly, was a great master of the Greek, and understood well the French, Spanish, and Italian languages.

Besides his Latin translation of Sydeuham’s “Observationes medicae,” and “The principles and duties of the Christian religion,” he published other tracts upon moral and theological subjects; and, in the appendix to “Ward’s Lives of the professors of Gresham college,” from which | this account is extracted, there are inserted three Latin lectures of his, read at Gresham in 1675, upon the origin of the art of medicine, and the history of its invention. 1


Ward’s Oresham Professors. Biog. Brit. Supplement, vol. VII.