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John Clement

President of the College of Physicians and tutor to St. Thomas More's children (1500-1572)

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Clement, JOHN, President of the College of Physicians and tutor to St. Thomas More’s children, b. in Yorkshire about 1500; d. July 1, 1572, in the Blocstrate, St. John’s parish, Mechlin. Educated at St. Paul’s School and Oxford, St. Thomas More admitted Clement as one of his household to help in the education of his children and to assist him in linguistic studies. In 1519 we find Clement at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, when Wolsey constituted him the Rhetoric Reader in the university; later he became professor of Greek there. About 1526 he married the daughter of a Norfolk gentleman, Margaret Gibbs, who lived and studied with More’s family. Applying himself to the study of medicine, he was admitted a Fellow of the College of Physicians (February 1, 1528), and was chosen by Henry VIII to attend Wolsey when the latter was dangerously ill at Esher (1529). He was consiliarius of the college from 1529 to 1531, in 1547, and again from 1556 to 1558. He held the office of president in 1544, and that of censor in 1555. After the accession of Edward VI he retired to Louvain to escape religious persecution; so obnoxious was he to the Protestant authorities that he was exempted from the general pardon granted by Edward VI. He returned to England in Mary’s reign and practiced his profession in Essex, but fled abroad again when Elizabeth came to the throne. Mechlin was his last place of exile. He lies buried in the cathedral church of St. Rum-bold in that city. He wrote: “Epigrammatum et aliorum carminum liber”; and also translated from Greek into Latin: (I) “The Epistles of St. Gregory Nazianzen”; (2) “The Homilies of Nicephorus Callistus concerning the Greek Saints”; (3) “The Epistles of Pope Celestine I to Cyril, Bishop of Alexandria“.


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