Thomas Hobbs 1648-1698

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Thomas HOBBS 1648-1698

Biographical Note

Son of Moses Hobbs, gentleman, of Winchester. Apprenticed to James Molins, a London surgeon, in 1667; freed as a member of the Barber-Surgeons Company, 1674. Lithotomist at St Bartholomew's Hospital 1680; surgeon to the King's horse guards 1683-90; surgeon in ordinary to James II 1687. Licensed to practice medicine by the Royal College of Physicians 1684; master of the Barber-Surgeons Company 1687. Granted a Lambeth MD 1691.


There is no reference to books in Hobbs's lengthy will, which left his household goods to his wife Katharine, with various provisions in trust for his children regarding his money and property. The will was contested shortly after his death and the associated inventory reveals a considerable estate with household goods valued at £1133, including a "study of books" valued at £150.

Hobbs’s library was sold by fixed price sale in London, 3 April 1712. The catalogue, divided only by format and not subject, contained 212 Latin books and 67 English ones, “with many more not here mention’d” which were described in a written list. The catalogue noted the presence of books in physick, surgery, philosophy and philology.

Characteristic Markings

None of Hobbs’s books have been identified.


  • A catalogue of part of the library of … Thomas Hobbes, 1712, ESTC t26214.
  • Morris, G. C. R. "Hobbs, Thomas (1648–1698), surgeon and physician." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
  • Morris, G. The household goods of Thomas Hobbs, Transactions of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society 23 (1971-2), 204-8.
  • Young, S. Annals of the barber-surgeons of London, 1890.