Thomas Forster (British, 1677-1713) James Drake FRS (1667-1707), wearing coat, chemise, stock and cravat, billowing mantle and full-bottomed wig

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Lot 4
Thomas Forster
(British, 1677-1713)
James Drake FRS (1667-1707), wearing coat, chemise, stock and cravat, billowing mantle and full-bottomed wig

£ 2,000 - 3,000
US$ 2,800 - 4,200
Thomas Forster (British, 1677-1713)
James Drake FRS (1667-1707), wearing coat, chemise, stock and cravat, billowing mantle and full-bottomed wig.
Plumbago, signed on the obverse and dated T Forster/ Delin/ 1705, the reverse inscribed James Drake/ M.D./ Late fellow of the/ College of Physicians/ and R.S. /1717, turned and ebonised wood frame.
Oval, 109mm (4 5/16in) high

Footnotes

  • An engraving of the present lot by Michael Vandergucht is held by the National Portrait Gallery, London (Inv. no.NPG D31240).

    Drake studied at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge between 1684-1685. In 1693 he went to London and was encouraged to study medicine by Sir Thomas Millington. In 1701 he was elected fellow of the Royal Society and in 1706, he became a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians.

    Drake however made his name as a vigorous Tory pamphleteer often at the centre of debate. He was tried and acquitted for the opinions he voiced in his pamplet, 'The History of the Last Parliament' (1702). His 'Historia Anglo Scotica' (1703) was burnt by the Scots at Mercat Cross in Edinburgh in 1703. 'The Memorial of the Church of England' (1704) was burnt by the common hangman at the Royal Exchange and although Drake was prosecuted, he dodged punishment through an error in the wording of the indictment; the word 'nor' had been mistakenly substituted for 'not'.

    Drake was also a lover of theatre and penned the plays, 'The Sham Lawyer' or 'The Lucky Extravagant' (adapted from John Fletcher's 'Spanish Curate') and 'Wit without Money'. Shortly before his death in 1707 he had revived his medical interests and published, 'Anthropologia Nova' or 'A New System of Anatomy'. Running to three editions in twenty years, it was a very popular treatise and remains a sad reminder of the talent Drake sacrificed to politics.
Contacts
Thomas Forster (British, 1677-1713) James Drake FRS (1667-1707), wearing coat, chemise, stock and cravat, billowing mantle and full-bottomed wig
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