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Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Richard Mead (1673-1754), Physician

Physician; son of Matthew Mead, nonconformist minister of Stepney; studied at Utrecht and Leyden; MD Padua, 1695, and Oxford, 1707; began practice in Stepney, 1696, in the house where he was born; Mechanical Account of Poisons, published 1702, at once established his reputation; FRS, 1703, and council member from 1715 until his death; instrumental in introducing inoculation; attended, among other leading figures, Sir Isaac Newton, Sir Robert Walpole, Bishop Burnet, George I, also physician-in-ordinary to George II; persuaded Thomas Guy to bequeath his fortune to the hospital which bears his name; unrivalled as a private collector, moved, 1720, to Great Ormond Street where his gallery of rare books, MSS, coins and objects of vertu was open to all who cared to visit it.

Referencesback to top

Haynes 1968
D. E. L. Haynes, 'The Arundel Marbles', Archaeology, XXI, 1968.

Wolstenholme and Piper 1964
G. Wolstenholme and D. Piper, The Royal College of Physicians of London Portraits, 1964.


This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Kerslake, Early Georgian Portraits, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1977, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.