John Bastwick (1593-1654) was born at Whittle, Essex. He entered Emmanuel College, Cambridge, in 1614, but stayed only briefly, before leaving to travel on the continent. During his time abroad Bastwick served as a soldier, probably in the Dutch army, before studying medicine, and taking the degree of M.D. at Padua. He returned to England in 1623, and settled at Colchester, where he developed a successful practice as a physician. Bastwick's publication of puritanical treatises led to him being fined, and then imprisoned. He was released in 1640, and was made captain of the Leicester trained bands in 1642.
Diploma of doctorate of medicine awarded by the University of Padua to John Bastwick, endorsed by Roderigo Fonseca, Tommaso Pioveno and Pietro Merio, 6 folios. On the verso of a paper flyleaf there is pasted a copper-plate engraving of W. Hollar's portrait of John Bastwick, probably taken from a copy of Bastwick's Declaration (1643). On the recto is a cutting from the catalogue of the J. Fuller Russell sale, June 1885, in which the manuscript was lot 89, and a note on John Bastwick by Samuel Sandars, whose bookplate is inside the front cover.
Samuel Sandars purchased the diploma at the J. Fuller Russell sale. Sandars bequeathed it to the Library in 1894.