Roger Marbeck, M.D., was the son of John Marbeck, organist of Windsor. He was educated at Christchurch, Oxford, of which he was afterwards a canon. He [was B.A. 26 Jany 1554-5. M.A. 11 July 1558 and was chosen the first public orator in 1564 being then senior proctor of the university. He resigned the office of orator 8 Decr 1565. Vide Boase’s Register of the University of Oxford, Vol. I, p.226] became provost of Oriel in 1564, and was admitted M.D. 2nd July, 1573.
We meet with him as a Fellow of the College of Physicians about the year 1578. He was the first Registrar of the College, and, having then filled that office for two years, was, on the 3rd November, 1581, elected for life. “Eodem die, una voce et pleno cum consensu Rogerum Marbeck registrarium Collegii, sive annalium scriptorem, jam tertio eligerunt, et durante vitâ suâ naturali confirmarunt.” He was to have forty shillings a year, paid quarterly, with a fee of 3s. 4d. on the admission of every Fellow, Candidate, or Licentiate, and a like fee of 3s. 4d. from every one fined by the President and College, or by the Censors. The duties of his office he performed with the greatest care and diligence, as the annals themselves sufficiently testify. Dr. Marbeck was Censor in 1585, 1586; Elect, 28th July, 1597, in place of Dr. Johnson, deceased; and Consiliarius, 1598, 1600, 1603, 1604.
He was physician to Queen Elizabeth, and, dying in July, 1605, was buried in St. Giles, Cripplegate, on the 5th of that month. Dr. Marbeck accompanied the Lord High Admiral Howard in the expedition against Cadiz in 1596. In the British Museum there is beautifully written MS. entitled
A briefe and true Discourse of the late honourable Voyage into Spaine; and of the wynning, sacking, and burning of the famous Towne of Cadiz there; and of the Miraculous Overthrowe of the Spanish Navie at that time. With a Reporte of all other Accidents thereunto appertayning. By Dr. Marbeck, attending upon the Person of the Righte Hon. the Lorde Highe Admirall of England all the Tyme of the said Action.
[See also note opp. p.78 – (Acts of the Privy Council, 1588 [just before the fleet sailed to attack the Armada] – W.G. (William Gilbert) & others* were directed “to put themselves presently in a readyness to goe downe to the Navye & to carry with them…drogues…” *Roger Marbeck, Lancelot Browne, Ralph Wilkinson)]
[Dr Marbeck’s will is in the Court of the Dean & Chapter of St Paul’s. Mr J C C Smith’s notes.]
[QUARITCH. No.794. 1959. 327 [MARBECK (Roger)]. A Defence of Tobacco: With A Friendly Answer To The late printed Booke called Worke for Chimney-Sweepers…London, Printed by Richard Field for Thomas Man. 1602. Sm. 4to., a very small hole in A3 repaired, on the title a contemporary inscription “By Dr. Rob. Marbeck ut creditur”; a fine copy in red morocco gilt, gilt edges, by Rivière. 1602 £200 $560.00 Although anonymous, this pamphlet is generally ascribed to Dr. Roger Marbeck as his name appears in an acrostic forming the dedication to Sir Henry Coche, cofferer to her Majesty, and Richard Brown. As a defence rather than an attack on tobacco, this is one of the rarer and more interesting pamphlets of the time. Marbeck, who was Provost of Oriel College, Oxford, was the son of John Marbeck. S.T.C., 6468.]
[See David Harley ‘The beginnings of the tobacco controversy: Puritanism, James I, and Royal physicians.’ Bull. Hist. Med., v.67, no.1 (Spring 1993), p.28-50.]
[Sotheby’s Cat. 15th May 1967. First Day 21 Monday, 15th May, 1967 A DEFENCE OF TABACCO: WITH A FRIENDLY ANSWER TO THE late printed Booke called Worke for Chimny-Sweepers, &c. Si iudicas, cognosce: si Rexes, iube. By Dr Rob. Marbeck ut creditur LONDON, Printed by Richard Field for Thomas Man. 1602. 67 [MARBECK (Roger)] A DEFENCE OF TABACCO: With a friendly answer to the printed booke called Worke for Chimny-Sweepers, FIRST EDITION, small flaw on A3 recto, red morocco gilt, panelled sides, g.e., by Rivière [STC 6468], the fine Cunliffe copy (Lord Cunliffe sale in these rooms, 15 May 1946, lot 329) 4to 1602. VERY RARE. The traditional attribution to Marbeck, whose name appears in an acrostic on the dedication leaf, is strengthened by a contemporary inscription ‘By Dr. Rob. [sic] Marbeck ut creditur’ on the title.]