On this day in 1560 – Doctor Thomas Wendy died

Doctor Thomas Wendy was born in May 1500 in Suffolk. He had a modest upbringing and undertook an art degree which he completed in 1522.

Wendy went to study medicine most likely in Italy when he returned to England in 1527 where he returned to Cambridgeshire and at some point in his early life was president of Gonville Hall, Cambridge.

Wendy’s medical career quickly took off with the majority of his patients coming from the nobility. He was employed by Henry Percy, 5th Earl of Northumberland in July 1534. Along with being the family’s medical practitioner he also performed many other tasks for Percy which included carrying letters to and from Thomas Cromwell.

In October 1546 Wendy was appointed as Queen Catherine Parr’s physician, not only did he have a strong reputation he also had Protestant sympathies. Wendy also went on to be the physician for King Henry VIII and attended the King on his deathbed. His close relationship with the King meant that Wendy was one of the witnesses to the King’s last will and testament, in which he received £100 from the King.

On 22nd December 1551 Wendy was admitted to the College of Physician and he also served as a Member of Parliament for St Albans in 1554 and Cambridgeshire 1555.

With his reputation for serving the King and Queen, Wendy was reappointed as royal physician in March 1547 to King Edward VI. At the same time Wendy began a career in public service he also began extending his property holdings, in September 1547 he took a 30 year lease on the Bishop of Hereford’s mansion near Old Fish Street, London and in January 1549 he purchased ex-chantry land in Cambridgeshire and Essex. Over his life he also bought manors and properties in Hertfordshire and many more lands in Cambridgeshire.

King Edward VI died at just the age of 15 Wendy was to attend the young King on his deathbed, however, despite his hard work the King passed away.

Wendy went on to be Queen Mary’s physician and most likely attended her during her phantom pregnancies up until her death. Making Mary, the third monarch to die under Wendy’s care. He was reappointed to serve Queen Elizabeth but died in London on 11th May 1560. He was buried at his home in Haslingfield.


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