Thomas Wotton (surgeon)

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Thomas Wotton
Born September 1582
Died March 16, 1669
Isle of Wight, Virginia
Occupation Surgeon
Spouse(s) Sarah Wood
Children Jane Wooten, Mary Wooten, Richard Wooten, Sarah Wooten

Thomas Wotton[1] was a surgeon who traveled to Jamestown, Virginia in 1607 with the original group of colonists.[2] Another surgeon, Will Wilkinson, also was among the first colonists.[3] Wotton was described as a "gentleman" while Wilkinson was identified with the laborers and craftsmen.[4]

Captain John Smith praised Wilkinson for his treatment of the sick.[5] Edward Maria Wingfield, when council president, on the other hand, criticized Wilkinson for staying aboard ship during periods of great need.[5] Wingfield would not provide funds for Wilkinson to purchase drugs and other necessities because of his view of Wilkinson's slothfulness.[5][6]

Captain Christopher Newport who brought the first settlers from England took Wotton on his journey up the James River on the Susan Constant to the falls at Richmond, Virginia before he returned to England for supplies.[7] Wotton stayed to help care for the colonists.

In a compilation of abstracts of English wills from the 17th century, the compiler notes that Thomas Wotton, barber and surgeon, whose will was dated March 15, 1635 and proved April 28, 1638, may have been the same Thomas Wotton who accompanied the first settlers to Jamestown.[8]


  1. ^ Various other spellings such as Wooten and Wootton have been given for his surname.
  2. ^ Tyler, Lyon Gardiner, ed. Encyclopedia of Virginia biography". Volume 1. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1915. OCLC 2576742. Retrieved July 15, 2011. p. 364.
  3. ^ Hughes, Thomas Proctor. 'Medicine in Virginia 1607 - 1699'. Charlottesville, VA: Univ. Press of Virginia, 1970. OCLC 19030601. Retrieved March 2, 2013. pp. 34, 59.
  4. ^ Hughes, 1970, p. 59.
  5. ^ a b c Hughes, 1970, pp. 59–60.
  6. ^ Proctor wrote that the colony could only have suffered from the misunderstanding. Proctor, 1970, p. 60.
  7. ^ Woolley, Benjamin. 'Savage Kingdom: Virginia and The Founding of English America'. New York : HarperCollins Publishers, 2007. ISBN 978-0-06-009056-2. Retrieved March 2, 2013. p. 69.
  8. ^ Withington, Lothrop. 'Virginia Gleanings in England: Abstracts of 17th and 18th-century English wills and administrations relating to Virginia and Virginians: a consolidation of articles from The Virginia magazine of history and biography'. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1980. Reprinted 1998 by Clearfield Publishing Company. Excerpted from Virginia Magazine of History and Biography. ISBN 0-8063-0869-9. Retrieved March 2, 2013. p. 361.