The Tudor Society

Thomas Hood (1556-1620)

A Jacob's Staff

Thomas Hood, the mathematician and physician, was baptised on this day in history, 23rd June 1556, at St Leonard Eastcheap. It was usual for children to be baptised within a few days of birth so he was also born in June 1556. His father was merchant taylor Thomas Hood.

Hood was educated at the Merchant Taylor's School and then Trinity College, Cambridge, gaining his BA in c.1578 and his MA in 1581. In 1585, he was granted a licence to practise medicine by Cambridge University. In late 1588, he became Mathematical Lecturer to the City of London and he lectured on the subject until 1592. His biographer, H.K. Higton, writes of how "In the aftermath of the Spanish armada of 1588, concern for a greater knowledge of the mathematical sciences among military officers and naval commanders was voiced by members of the privy council" and that was the reason Hood was employed to lecture on mathematics.

In the late 1590s, Hood moved to Worcester, where he established a medical practice and married. He died at Worcester in 1620.

Hoods works included the 1590 The Use of the Celestial Globe in Plano, Set Foorth in Two Hemispheres, the 1592 The Use of Both the Globes Celestiall and Terrestriall, the 1596 Two Mathematicall Instruments, the Crosse-Staffe and the Jacobs Staffe and the 1598 The Making and Use of the Geometricall Instrument called a Sector.

Notes, Sources and Further Reading

  • Higton, H. K.. “Hood, Thomas (bap. 1556, d. 1620).” H. K. Higton In Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, online ed., edited by David Cannadine. Oxford: OUP, 2004.

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Thomas Hood (1556-1620)