Thomas frewen

From Book Owners Online


Thomas FREWEN 1704-1791

Biographical Note

Born in Northiam, Sussex to Thankfull Frewen, rector of Northiam, and Sarah Spencer. Apprenticed to George Lake in 1720, he practised as surgeon and apothecary in Rye, Sussex and later in Lewes. He obtained his medical degree from Utrecht in 1753. He is notable for being one of the first physicians to use inoculation to prevent infection with smallpox. He wrote several books on inoculation and other medical topics. Several of his manuscripts are now at Cambridge University Library and the Royal Society. He died in Northiam in 1791.


Nothing is known about his library except that he left all his possessions (including his books) to his wife; whether they were subsequently sold by her or their children is unknown. Several of his books have turned up in auction catalogues or have been found in institutions. Examples: Brasenose College, Oxford, Bras P 51; St Edmund Hall, Oxford, JJ 92; National Library of Medicine, WZ 260 C8727o 1706.

Characteristic Markings

Frewen used an ink stamp to mark his books with the text: “Thomas Frewen, M.D.”.He also used an armorial bookplate with the same text.