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John Tradescant the Younger

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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John Tradescant the Younger

attributed to Thomas De Critz
oil on canvas, 1652
31 1/2 in. x 24 in. (800 mm x 610 mm)
Purchased, 1897
Primary Collection
NPG 1089

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The moss growing on the skull in the portrait is probably in allusion to the belief that a powder made 'out of the mosse of a man's scull' was 'a soveraine remedy for the falling sickness (epilepsy)'.

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Events of 1652back to top

Current affairs

Politician, Sir Henry Vane, the younger, in promoting English liberties on Scotland rather than pursing its annexation, achieves its nominal consent for inclusion to the emerging republican commonwealth.

Art and science

Nicholas Culpeper, herbalist and astrologer, publishes The English Physitian. Extensively illustrated, Culpeper book written in the tradition of astrological medicine, lists native medicinal herbs indexed to common diseases.
Architect, Inigo Jones dies at Somerset House.
Clergyman, Peter Heylyn, publishes Cosmographie, a comprehensive description of the known world.


First Anglo-Dutch war, fought entirely at sea, erupts principally over trade disputes. General at Sea, Robert Blake, leads the navy in the first encounters against the Dutch navy commanded by Lieutenant-Admiral Maarten Tromp.
Oliver Cromwell's Act of Settlement of Ireland imposes death penalties and confiscates land from Irish Catholics.

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