William Croone 1633-1684

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William CROONE 1633-1684

Biographical Note

Born in London. BA Emmanuel College, Cambridge 1650, fellow 1651, MA 1654, MD 1662. Professor of rhetoric at Gresham College, 1659-70. Founder member of the Royal Society, where he was their first registrar, and an active experimenter, reading several papers to the Society in the 1660s and 70s. Admitted as a candidate at the Royal College of Physicians 1663; fellow 1675, censor 1679. Anatomy lecturer at the Barber-Surgeons Company, 1670. He established a successful practice as a physician in London, and was noted in his funeral oration as having been "an accurate linguist, an acute mathematician, a well read historian and a profound philosopher".


In his will, Croone bequeathed to the College of Physicians such medical books as they might want, and similarly to Emmanuel College such mathematical books as "they shall think fit to accept". All the rest of his books were to be disposed of as his executors thought best, subject to their first looking through them to see that any letters or papers in his hand be extracted and burnt, along with any other "books and papers of my writing". The only exceptions to this were papers "concerning the estate and all manner of letters and papers written by or to me in English ... and the memorials left for my wife and an account of my father's to my uncle". The extent of Croone's library is not known but is likely to have been over a thousand volumes.


  • Besson, A. (ed), Thornton's medical books, libraries & collectors, 3rd edn, London, 1990, p.275.
  • Martensen, Robert L. "Croone, William (1633–1684), physician." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
  • Stubbings, F. Forty-nine lives, Cambridge, 1983, no.15.