Edward Tyson 1651-1708

From Book Owners Online

Edward TYSON 1651-1708

Biographical Note

Born in Bristol, son of Edward Tyson, mercer and Lord Mayor of Bristol. BA Magdalen Hall, Oxford 1670, MA 1673, MB 1677, MD (Cambridge) 1680. He moved to London in 1677 where he practised as a physician, becoming a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in 1683. Fellow of the Royal Society 1679 (Vice-President, 1704), Ventera Reader in Anatomy at the Barber-Surgeons Company, and physician to Bethlem and Bridewell Hospitals, 1684. He studied anatomy and natural history at Oxford and began publishing articles in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society in the 1670s; his books include Phocaena, or, the anatomy of a porpess (1680) and Orang-outang ... the anatomy of a pygmie (1699).


The size of Tyson's library is not known but many successful physicians of the time had extensive collections. The source of the statements in Thornton's Medical books ... and collectors, that Tyson gave a collection to the Bodleian Library and intended to leave books to the Royal College of Physicians is not known and there is no known evidence to substantiate them. In his will, he directed that a 13 volume set of the works of Ulisse Aldrovandi be given to the Royal Society and that otherwise all his "household goods pictures glasses books instruments [and] curiosities" be given to his nephew Richard Tyson (1680-1750, also a physician).