William Browne (physician)

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Sir William Browne FRS (1692 – 10 March 1774) was an English doctor.


Browne was born in County Durham, and was educated in Durham and at Peterhouse, Cambridge.[1] After graduating, he worked as a doctor in King's Lynn, Norfolk, for more than thirty years before moving to Bloomsbury, London, in 1749. He was President of the College of Physicians in 1765 and 1766, having been a Fellow of the college since 1726; he resigned during his five-year term of office because of a dispute. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1739, and was knighted in 1748. He died on 10 March 1774, and left money for a scholarship at Peterhouse and gold medals to be awarded for poetry in Greek and Latin to Cambridge students.[2]

While Browne wrote various books, his most enduring work is an epigram on why George I donated the library of the Bishop of Ely to Cambridge University and not to Oxford University:[2]

The king to Oxford sent a troop of horse,
For tories own no argument but force;
With equal care to Cambridge books he sent,
For whigs allow no force but argument.


  1. "Browne, William (BRWN707W)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 Stephen, Leslie (October 2007). "Browne, Sir William (1692–1774)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 9 December 2009. Unknown parameter |subscription= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>