Nathaniel Cotton

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Nathaniel Cotton

Nathaniel Cotton (/ˈkɒtən/; 1707 – 2 August 1788) was an English physician and poet.[1]

Cotton is thought to have studied at Leiden University, possibly under Herman Boerhaave.[2] Cotton specialised in the care of patients with mental health issues, maintaining an asylum known as the Collegium Insanorum, at St Albans. William Cowper was one of his patients[3] and held Cotton in high regard.[4]

Cotton was also a published poet, whose poems were described by Cheever as "full of good sense, benevolence, and piety"[4] although not works of genius. He was the author of Visions in Verse, first published in 1751; and a two volume complete collection of his works was published in 1791.[2]

He was married twice, first in 1738 to Anne Pembroke, with whom he had eight children, six of whom survived past infancy and one, Joseph Cotton, who became a director of the Honourable East India Company. His second marriage in 1750 or 51 was to Hannah Everett, with whom he had a son and two daughters. He died at St Albans on 2 August 1788 and is buried in St. Peter's churchyard.[1]

After Cotton's death the asylum was run by Dr Stephen Pellet.


External links[edit]

  • Nathaniel Cotton at the Eighteenth-Century Poetry Archive (ECPA)
  • Visions in Verse, in an 1826 anthology
  • "Nathaniel Cotton 1705–1788". Halhed genealogy & family trees. Archived from the original on 7 October 2011. Retrieved 24 February 2011.