Henry Atkins (physician)
Henry Atkins (1558–1635) was an English physician.
Atkins was the son of Richard Atkins of Great Berkhamstead, Hertfordshire. Matriculating at Trinity College, Oxford, in 1574, he graduated there and afterwards proceeded M.D. at Nantes. In 1588, he became fellow of the College of Physicians of London, and in 1606 president. He was re-elected in 1607, 1608, 1616, 1617, 1624, and 1625.
In 1597 Atkins sailed as physician to Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex in the Islands Voyage, but was sea-sick, had to be put on shore, and resigned the appointment. His replacement was Thomas Moundeford. In 1604 Atkins was sent by James I to Scotland to bring back his son Charles.
In 1611 the king is said to have offered Atkins the first baronet's patent. In 1612 Atkins was called into consultation during the last illness of Henry, Prince of Wales, and his opinion was that the disease was a putrid fever "without malignity, except that attending putridity". He suggested bleeding. His signature, as one of the king's physicians, stands next to that of Theodore Mayerne in the original report of the post-mortem examination.
Of significance to the medical professions was the division of the Grocers' Company allowing the formation of the chartered Apothecaries' Company from 1617. Resistance to the proposals of Atkins for the split had come from Sir William Paddy. In 1618, under the active presidency of Atkins, the College of Physicians issued the first London Pharmacopeia.
Atkins married Mary Pigot of Dodershall, Buckinghamshire. He lived in Warwick Court, enjoyed a large practice, and died rich on 21 September 1635. He left an only child, afterwards Sir Henry Atkins, and was buried in Cheshunt church, where a monument was placed. He was a benefactor of the College of Physicians.
- Stephen, Leslie, ed. (1885). "Atkins, Henry". Dictionary of National Biography. 2. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
- Wallis, Patrick. "Atkins, Henry". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/839. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- Kassell, Lauren. "Paddy, William". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/21080. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)