Nathan Paget 1615-1679

From Book Owners Online

Nathan PAGET 1615-1679

Biographical Note

Born in Manchester, son of Thomas Paget, Rector of Stockport; his father and uncle (John Paget) were both clergymen with puritan views. MA from the University of Edinburgh, 1635, studied at the University of Leiden 1638-39 when he graduated there as MD. Returned to England where he began practising as a physician, initially outside London; MD (Cambridge) 1642, elected Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians 1646. Physician to the Tower of London, 1649. He seems to have spent the rest of his life in medical practice in London, holding various offices within the Royal College of Physicians. He was a friend of John Milton, and his cousin Elizabeth Minshull became Milton’s third wife. His political sympathies were on the side of puritanism and the parliamentary cause.


The only mention of books in Paget's will is the bequest of 40 volumes from his "study of books" to his brother Thomas Paget, to be chosen by him. Paget’s “Bibliotheca medica” was auctioned after his death by William Cooper in London, 24 October 1681. The titlepage of the catalogue states the addition of books in other subjects and while it is not explicitly clear that these all come from Paget’s collection also, that inference seems reasonable. Paget therefore had an extensive library not only with wide coverage of medical and related subjects (826 lots, almost all in Latin, including some tract volumes), but also extending to the usual range of subject areas found in such collections. In addition to the 826 libri medici there were 605 lots comprising miscellaneous subjects in Latin, and 723 in English, together with 34 vols of pamphlets, so 2188 vols in all.

Elias Ashmole noted the loan of “several chemical manuscripts” from Paget in 1651.

Characteristic Markings

None of Paget’s books have been identified.


  • Bibliotheca medica … Nathanis Paget, 1681 (Wing P167).
  • Alston, R. C. Inventory of sale catalogues 1676-1800. St Philip, 2010.
  • Elmer, Peter. "Paget, Nathan (bap. 1615, d. 1679), physician." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
  • Hanford, J. M. Dr. Paget’s library, Bulletin of the Medical History Association 33 (1945), 90-97.
  • Munk, W. The roll of the Royal College of Physicians of London. 2nd edn. London, 1878.