A cabinet of rarities: the curious collections of Sir Thomas Browne - from 30 January 2017 to 27 July 2017

A new exhibition and season of events at the Royal College of Physicians will mark the life of one of Britain's most important, but least known, intellectual figures.

Collector of rarities, debunker of myths, inspiration to writers and doctors, conjuror of words and witness at a witch trial. Sir Thomas Browne is probably the greatest British genius you’ve never heard of. This new exhibition uncovers a man of unbounded curiosity. A polymath ruled by logic who believed in witches. A conscientious physician who saw the divine in his work. One of the greatest coiners of words, he introduced over 700 to English from computer to electricity, hallucination to migrant. His publications inspired figures from Samuel Taylor Coleridge to Virginia Woolf.

John Evelyn said ‘his whole house and garden is a paradise’, home to ‘the best collection’. Using manuscripts, animal and plant specimens, books, paintings and artefacts, a fragment of Sir Thomas Browne’s ‘Cabinet of rarities’ will be reconstructed as the centrepiece of this celebration of his exceptional achievements. In 2017 discover one of the 17th century’s most remarkable and elusive figures.

9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday only

Please see website for details of additional closure days

Royal College of Physicians, 11 St Andrew’s Place, Regent’s Park, London, NW1 4LE