Chronicle

Below is a timeline of some key and interesting events from the medical history of Newmarket, in chronological order, starting from the earliest known medical reference going down to the present day. Click on the links to find out more regarding each specific event, person or place etc. mentioned:-

Note: dates pre-1752 are written from our post 1752 perspective – see New Year change for explanation.

Some possible early history

7th century: Cynefrid – an Ely based medic who possibly had some dealings with the Newmarket area, well before the new market!

11th century: Baldwin – the abbot physician of Bury, whose influence likely spread to the Newmarket area as the new market was emerging.

1333: Alexander de Ixnyng was elected Prior/Master at The Hospital of St John, Cambridge.

1503: The will of Henry Veesy, ‘potecary’ of Cambridge – a Cambridge based apothecary who possibly visited Newmarket to ply his trade.

Start of known history

1615: The burial of Richard Greene, chirurgian, at All Saints’ chapel, Newmarket (likely the first medic based in Newmarket, certainly the earliest recorded).

1617: Robert Greene of Newmarket licensed by the Archbishop of Canterbury to practice medicine and surgery.

1625: Newmarket hit by plague.

1632: William Harvey visited Newmarket as physician to King Charles I.

1643: Newmarket hit by fever epidemic?

1647: Nicholas Searle, the earliest recorded barber-surgeon in Newmarket.

1664: Francis Greene (apothecary of Newmarket) issued his own farthings.

1674: Francis Greene the apothecary’s death, burial, probate of his 1672 will, and very interesting memorial (from which the name of this website is largely derived).

1695: Death and very interesting will of Thomas Fraser, the last of the ‘Greenes’, the dominant medical family of 17th century Newmarket.

1695: Gilman’s apothecary shop – the earliest known location of a medical premises in Newmarket.


1714: The death of William Raby, the last barber-surgeon of Newmarket.

1716: The first mention of Wotton Braham in Newmarket, the earliest in a demonstrable chain of medics that led to The Rookery Medical Centre of today.

1738: A major early Newmarket smallpox outbreak.

1743: Nurse Holmes working alongside William Sandiver 1 – the earliest record of an apparently medical nurse in Newmarket.

1765: William Sandiver 2 won the Newmarket Plate horse race. 

1770: Thomas Searancke 2 became a member of the Society of Apothecaries in London, the first in Newmarket to do so, and only Newmarket medic to do so before it became compulsory in 1815.

1772: John Edwards’ Ague tincture, for use when ‘Bark and all other Medicines have been used without Effect.’

1786: William Sandiver 2 treated the Prince Regent (the future King George IV) at Newmarket Races, for a nose bleed, by blood-letting! 


1823: Norton, Taylor and Kendall – the first mention of this significant early 19th century unusual for the time triple partnership.

1835/6/7: The Newmarket Union poor law institution started meeting, appointed its first medical officers, then built and opened the workhouse with its infirmary

1836: The earliest definite mention of Richard Faircloth in Newmarket, whose practice was to evolve into today’s Oakfield and Orchard House Surgeries.

1839: Pigot and Robson’s trade directories – the earliest mention of the four practices together that were to dominate 19th century Newmarket: Faircloth, Fyson, Page, and Peck, (overlapping with Bullen, the end of Walter Norton’s practice above).

1847: Three Newmarket medics (Peck, Faircloth, and Page) attended an early operation under anaesthetic at the Suffolk General Hospital.

1850: Providential fever, prescriptions for the soul, and spiritual genetics!

1856: An interesting example of early resuscitation techniques from Frederick Page

1866: The first mention of the Grays in Newmarket, who ran the practice that went on to become The Rookery Medical Centre, and who were a major feature in the medical history of Newmarket for over a century. .

1880: The Rous Memorial Hospital opened. 

1883: Clement Gray performed an extraordinary Cæsarian section in a patient’s house, helped by several other medics in town.

1884: John Rowland Wright appears separate from his previous partner Walter Hutchinson, marking the divergence of the practices that were to become Orchard House Surgery and Oakfield Surgery – at this point there were five practices in town, reducing to four in 1917 with the death of Ernest Last Fyson, then the three of today in 1922 with the retirement of Ernest Crompton.

1889: The Fever Hospital opened.

1892: George Bor(th)wick Mead involved with the foundation of the Medical Protection Society.


1904: White Lodge named. 

1917: Death of Ernest Last Fyson, the last of the Fysons, reducing the number of practices to four (see 1922 below).

1922: On Ernest Crompton’s retirement the number of practices in Newmarket reduced to three, which went on to become the three residual practices of today.

1924: Plans were submitted for Alton House and purpose built surgery (allegedly the first in the country).

1936/7: Dr Joe Davis moved his practice from Kingston House to Rous Villa and Dr Norman Simpson moved his from Heath Cottage to Lincoln Lodge.

1939/40: The old workhouse was transformed into the wartime White Lodge emergency hospital, which later evolved into Newmarket General Hospital

1969: A liver transplant was carried out at Newmarket General Hospital

1974: Alton House Surgery moved to The Rookery Medical Centre and Lincoln Lodge Surgery to Exning Road.

1984: Exning Road Surgery moved to Orchard House Surgery.

1993: Rous Surgery moved to Oakfield Surgery.

2013: This project began!

2019: This website was launched.