Owen, George

, an eminent English physician, was born in the diocese of Worcester, and educated at Mertoncollege, Oxford, of which he became probationer-fellow in 1519. Having studied physic, he took his doctor’s | degree in that faculty in 1527, and soon after was appointed physician to Henry VIII. and held the same office in the two succeeding reigns. In 1544 he was constituted a fellow of the college of physicians, and appears to have attained high consequence in his profession. He was a witness to the will of Henry VIII. who left him a legacy of 100l. It is reported that Edward VI. was brought into the world by Dr. Owen’s means, who performed the Caesarian operation on his mother, queen Jane Seymour. From this circumstance, whether truly or falsely related, we may conclude him to have been a practitioner in midwifery, as well as in physic. In the first year of queen Mary he was very instrumental in obtaining an act for the confirmation and enlargement of the powers granted to the college of physicians. Some time after, in the same reign, when a difference took place between the college of physicians and the university of Oxford, concerning the admission of an illiterate person to a degree, who was rejected by the college upon their examination; cardinal Pole, then chancellor of the university, was appealed to, and obliged the university to consult Dr. Owen and Dr. Thomas Huys, the queen’s physician, “de instituendis rationibus quibus Oxoniensis academia in admittendis Medicis uteretur.” An agreement was accordingly made, which the chancellor approved and ratified by his authority. Dr. Owen died Oct. 10, 1558, of an epidemic intermittent, and was buried in St. Stephen’s, Walbrook. Leland intimates that he had written several pieces on medical subjects, but none of them were preserved. Tanner mentions that he wrote a work entitled " A meet Diet for the new ague set forth by Mr. Dr. Owen, Lond. 1558, fol. In 1553, Edward VI. granted Durham-college, in Oxford, to our George Owen and William Martyn, which the following year they sold to sir Thomas Pope, who founded Trinity -college on the scite. Previous to this, Dr. Owen received a grant of Godstowe nunnery, with its adjoining estates, and this nunnery he converted into a dwelling-house with some alterations and improvements. 1


Ath. Ox. vol. I. new edit.—Aikin’s Biog. Memoirs of Medicine.