Musgrave, Dr. William

, an English physician and antiquary, was descended from an ancient family in Westmorland, but born at Charlton-Musgrave in Somersetshire, in 1657. Being educated, as is supposed, at Winchester-school, he became, in 1675, a probationerfellow of New college, in Oxford, where he took the degree of LL. B. in 1682; but afterwards studying physic, distinguished himself greatly by his knowledge in that profession and in natural philosophy; and was elected fellow of the royal society. He was made secretary to it in 1684, in which quality he continued, and published the “Philosophical Transactions,” from No. 167 to 178, inclusive; and several curious observations, which occurred to hirn in the course of his profession, he caused to be inserted, at different times, in that collection. He took his degrees in physic in 1685 and 1689, and was afterwards admitted fellow of the college of physicians in London. In 1691, he went and settled in the city of Exeter, where he exercised his profession a long time with great reputation and success. He died Dec. 23, 1721.

Being a man of very extensive learning, he composed, at his leisure-hours, several curious works, as, 1. “De Arthritide symptomatica Dissertatio, 1703,” 8vo. 2. “De Arthritide^anomala sive interna Dissertatio, 1707,” 8vo. Of these two books, one upon the regular, the other upon the irregular or inward gout, he gave an account in the “Philosophical Transactions.” 3. “Julii Vitalis Epitaphitim: cum Commentario, 1711,” 8vo, a work much praised by Mr. Moyle. 4. “De Legionibus Epistola.” This letter concerning the Roman legions was addressed to sir Hans Sloane. 5. “De Aquilis Romania Epistola, 1713,” 8vo, addressed to Gisbert Cuper, consul of Deventer, who had affirmed that the Roman eagles were of massy gold or silver; while Musgrave maintained, that they were only plated over, in which opinion he was joined by Moyle. 6. “Inscriptio Terraconensis; cum Commentario.” 7. “Geta Britannicus. Accedit Domus Severianae Synopsis chronologica; et de Icuncula quondam M. Regis jElfridi Dissertatio, 1715,” 8vo. That is, “Observations upon a fragment of an equestrian stone Statue, found near Bath, which Musgrave believes to have been set up in honour of Geta, after his arrival in Britain; together with a chronological Synopsis of the family of Severus; and a dissertation upon a piece of Saxon antiquity found at Athelney in | Somersetshire, being king Alfred the Great’s Amulet.” 8. “Belgium Britannicum;” or, “An account of that part of South Britain which was anciently inhabited by a people called Belgae, and now comprehends Hampshire, Wiltshire, and Somersetshire,1719, 8vo. To this work is prefixed a dissertation, in which he endeavours to prove that Britain was formerly a peninsula, and joined to France about Calais. All the above tracts on antiquities were published together at Exeter, in 1720, 4 vols. 8vo. In 1776 a posthumous dissertation of his on the gout was published under the title of “De Arthritide primogenia et regulari,” 8vo. He had left the manuscript to his son William Musgrave, M. B. by whom it was committed to the press, but he dying when the work was nearly completed, the sheets remained in the warehouse of the Clarendon press until the above-mentioned period, when it was published by the author’s grandson, the late Dr. Samuel Musgrave, of Exeter, a gentleman once noted (about 1761) for his pretended political discoveries respecting the private history of the peace, and afterwards as a Greek scholar and critic. He studied at Leyden, where in 1762 he published “Exercitationum in Euripidem libri duo,” 8vo, and when he took his degree, “Apologia pro medicina Empirica,1763, 4to. After his return he practised physic at Exeter, and bestowed much time on collating various Mss. of Euripides, which collations, with his notes, were incorporated in an edition of that classic printed at Oxford in 1778, 4 vols. 8vo. Dr. Harwood gives a very unfavourable opinion of this edition, nor has it been in general much prized by foreign critics. Dr. Musgrave died July 3, 1782, greatly reduced in circumstances, and after his death was edited by Mr. Tyrwhitt, for the benefit of his family, “Two Dissertations,” on the Grecian mythology, and the chronology of the Olympiads. 1


Riojr. Brit. —Ath. Ox. vol. II. —Gent. Mag, see Index. Nichols’s Bowyer, vol. VIII. p. 110.