|Much of this article is taken from an account of the life, including his will, of Timothy Bright, rector of Barwick-in-Elmet (1594-1615). This was included in the 'Dictionary of National Biography' and was published in the 'Yorkshire Archaeological Journal' Vol XVII pp.50-54, with some corrections and explanatory notes added by Mr William Brown.|
|"Timothy Bright was born in or about
1551, probably in the neighbourhood of
Sheffield. He matriculated as a sizar at
Trinity College, Cambridge, on 21 May 1579
and graduated BA in 1567-8. In 1572 he was
in Paris, probably pursuing his medical
studies, when he narrowly escaped the St.
Bartholemew massacre by taking refuge in the
house of Sir Francis Walsingham. He
graduated MB from Cambridge, in 1574, and was
created MD in 1579. For some years he seems
to have resided at Cambridge, but in 1584 he
was living at Ipswich. He succeeded Dr
Turner as physician to St Bartholemew's
Hospital about 1586 (Brown suggests 1584) and
must have resigned in 1590 when his suceessor
His first medical work (dated 1584) seems to have been written at Cambridge. It is in two parts, 'Hygienia on preserving health' and 'Therapeutica on restoring health", and was dedicated to Cecil, Lord Burghley. Bright afterwards abandoned the medical profession and took holy orders. His famous treatise entitled 'Characterie: An Arte of short, swifte and secret writing by character', he dedicated in 1588 to Queen Elizabeth, who, on 5 July 1591, presented him to the rectory of Methley, then void by the death of Otho Hunt and on 30 December 1594 to the rectory of Barwick-in Elmet."
|"In 1571 a man named William Slingsby
drank from a spring near Knaresborough and
noticed that the water tasted like that of
spas he had visited on the continent. At the western end
of the Stray is the Tewit Well, the spring
discovered by Willam Slingsby and now covered
by a pillared dome.
Several years later a physician, Timothy Bright, declared that the spring had healing properties. During the 18th. and 19th. centuries, more springs were discovered - they were rich mostly in iron and sulphur - and Harrogate was developed to become one of Britain's most celebrated spas, offering cures for everything from gout to nervous tension. But as medical science discovered and developed new drugs, so the demand for the "cure" declined."
|"And for the disposition of my goods
and chattels, my will is, and I do hereby
will and bequeath unto my much beloved
brother, William Bright, Bachelor of
Divinity, and public preacher of God's word
in the town of Salop in the County of Salop,
all those my books, called or known by the
name or names of the Hebrew bible, the Syriac
testament Josephus Zarlinus in Italian, in
two volumes, and Plato in Greek and latin,
translated by Marsilius ficinus, and those my
Instruments of music called the Theorbo
with its case, and the Irish
harp, which I most usually played upon.
And I give and bequeeth to Titus Bright, my son, Doctor of Physic, the sum of œ20 in money, and all my books of Physic and Philosophie, and the rest of my Instruments of music, not bequeathed to my said brother, for his full child's part and portion of all my goods, chattels and estate."
"The rector of Barwick's will shows
that he was very highly cultured. The number
of books mentioned is greater than usual. In
Notes and Queries (8th. series, xii, 302),
the list of books bequeathed in the wills of
nineteen clergymen of the Diocese of Durham,
dated between 1559 and 1603, and printed by
the Surtees Society in the proceedings of
Bishop Barnes, App. x, is tabulated. They
are very few in number.
In eight only, out of the nineteen, is there any mention of books, and where they are mentioned they seem in some cases to compare but poorly in value with other belongings of the testataor. In the lengthy will of Leonard Pilkington, prebendary of the seventh stall in Durham Cathedral, no mention is made of books, a remarkable fact, seeing that Pilkington was from 1561- 64, Master of St John's, Cambridge, and for a short time, 1561-2, Regius Professsor of Divinity in the same university.
Dr. Bright's library was much better furnished. Besides books on physic and philosophy he had a Hebrew Bible and a Syriac Testament, as well as works in Italian, Greek and Latin, which prove he was no mean linguist. He was fond of music and died possessed of a couple of Theorbos, a stringed instrument of the lute family, and an Irish harp. He studied music in theory as well as practically, and to aid him had bought the standard work on harmony by Joseph Zarlino."