Thorpe, John

, a physician and antiquary, descended from an ancient Kentish family, was the eldest son of John Thorpe, esq. and born at Newhouse, in the parish of Penshurst, March 12, 1682. After school-education at Westerham in Kent, he was, in April 1698, matriculated as a commoner of University-college, Oxford, where he was under the tuition principally of Dr. Cockman, afterwards master of that college. In 1701 he took his degree of B. A. and in 1704-, that of M. A. Having given a preference to the medical profession, he was admitted B. M. in 1707, and took his doctor’s degree in 1710. In 1705 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society, to the transactions of which he had in 1704 contributed a letter “concerning, worms in the heads of sheep,” &c. and afterwards “An. account of a great quantity of Hydatides found in the abdomen.” He was also assistant to Dr. (afterwards sir) Hans Sloane, in the publication of the “Philosophical Transactions.” He then resided in Ormond-street, London, near his friend Dr. Mead, and contracted an intimate acquaintance with the most eminent physicians, naturalists, and antiquaries of that time; but at the earnest solicitations of many of his relations and friends, be quitted London in 1715, and settled at Rochester, where he practised thirty-­five years, with great success, and with equal humanity in all cases where the poor were concerned. He died Nov. 1750 at Rochester, and was buried in a chapel on the north-side of the church of Stockbury in Kent.

At such hours as he could spare from his practice, he applied himself to his favourite study, the history and antiquities of his native country, and especially those relating to the ecclesiastical affairs of the diocese of Rochester. Of all these he made very extensive collections; but printed only “A List of Lands contributory to Rochester-bridge,” a folio sheet. “A collection of Statutes concerning Rochester-bridge;” and “Articles of the High Court of Chancery for settling and governing sir Joseph Williamson’s mathematical school at Rochester.” He published also a volume of Scheuchzer’s “Itinera Alpina,” in 1708, having corresponded with that eminent naturalist.

Dr. Thorpe married Elizabeth, daughter of John Woodhouse, of Shobdon, in the county of Hereford, by whom he had the subject of the following article. 1


Nichols’s Bowyer.