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To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine. their talents as priests, and their piety as SIR,
men, the service is generally performed I HAVE sometimes indulged myself in in a suitable and becoming manner. To
1 conjectures respecting the discoveries a certain extent, they tend to check the which an enterprizing traveller might general desertion from the established perhaps be enabled to make in the religion; but, owing to a defect for which African continent. It is not be- it is my object to propose a remedy, they yond the verge of possibility to sup- fail to produce this effect, except in a pose, that the Egyptians extended their very limited degree. They are erected dominions beyond the geographical li. . for the most part, either by subscription mits which are usually assigned to that raised amongst the more opulent part of country; and the inhabitants of some so. the parish, or from motives which dislitary oasis, some secluded valley, may prove the aphorism--that man cannot yet retain vestiges of their language, reli- serve both God and Mainmon. In the gion, and customs. The celebrated Mo. former case, the pews are all reserved to saic of Præneste might be adduced as a the subscribers: in the latter, they are proof that the Egyptians were well ac- let: and in both cases the poor, by far qaainted with the interior of the African the most numerous part of every parish, continent; that panoramic map of Egypt are excluded, as no, or at most a very terminates with an expanse of water, thus small and inadequate, portion of these coinciding with the accounts of the great chapels is appropriated to their use. central lake, reported by the negroes to They, therefore, if disgusted by the nege be the common source of the Nile and Tigent manner in wbich the service is the Niger. Instances are not wanting often drawled or hurried over in the of detached and insulated colonies, or ra- parish-church, or, scandalized by the imther fragments (if the expression may be moral life of the clergyman; have no allowed) of great nations retaining their other alternative than that of resorting to national characteristics through a long places of dissenting worship. course of ages. The descendants of the To remedy this inconvenience, and Carthaginians, in the valley of Battuecas, render chapels-of-ease more generally retained undisturbed possession of the lan- useful, I propose that a law be made, guage and rites of their ancestors, until enacting, that, in every chapel-of-ease, at chey were exterminated in the 16th cen. least one-third, or such greater or less tury.
F. C. proportion as may be thought more pro
per, be set apart for the use of the poor, To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine.
H. SIR, THE enormous secession from the To the Editor of the Monthly Magazine,
1 established religion of the kingdom, SIR, so well and so truly described by Lord IN the account of a trial lately recordSidmouth's remark--that England pos 1 ed in the General Evening Post, I met sesses an establisked church, and a secta. with a passage tybich I shall be very glad riun people, is certainly attributable, to have explained by means of your public amongst other causes, to the very neyli- cation, not only for my satisfaction, but gent manner in which the service in that the public should understand how parish churches is frequently performed, the law stands respecting the matter. A to the very irreverend, immoral, and ir- man was found guilty of an assault, and religious lives of many of the clergymen his counsel stated that he had been inof the established church, and to the inte dicted for a like offence some time before, convenient situation of many parish- but, in consideration of his having a wife churches, erected often on the verge of and family, and its being believed he was the parish, in places difficult of access, both drunk and mad at the time, the pro. and remote from the more populous parts' secution was not pursued. The Recore of the parish. To remedy these defects, der said, “If the defendant had now chapels-of-ease are frequently erected, pleaded insanity, he should bave been sent which, from choice of situation, are ge. to Newgate for life, as the Act of Parlianerally centrical and convenient; and in ment enables the court to do.” which, as the clergymen are appointed, My wish is to have the clause of the Act, not, as in the established church, through brought before your readers; for I caninterest with the patron, and without not suppose that there exists an Act any consideration of their fitness to dis- which sentences insane people to concharge the Julies of the situation, or the finement for life, unless the insanity conmorality of their lives, but on account of tinues! A CONSTANT READER.
MEMOIRS AND REMAINS OF EMINENT PERSONS.
BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS of the late Dr. When in London, Dr. Willan was intro• ROBERT WILLAN, M.D. F.R.S. duced to Dr. Fothergill, who, from a just i and S.A. Author of the Work on Cun estimation of his talents and acquiretaneous Diseases, &c. &c.
ments, recommended him to try his for. DOBERT WILLAN was born on the tune in the metropolis, and offered him
N 12th of November, 1757, at the his assistance. Dr. Fothergill, however, Hill, near Sedbergh, in Yorkshire, where died in the month of December, in that his father resided, in the enjoyment of year; and in the commencement of the extensive medical reputation and prac- following year, 1781, the death of Dr. tice*. He was educaied in the principles Trotter also occurred; upon which Dr. of the Society of Frienils, and received Willan immediately went to Darlington, his scholastic tuition exclusively at Sed- where he found two opponents already bergh; having obtained his classical on the spot: one of these, the late Dr. knowledge at the grammar-school of that Rotherham, was afterwards, for some place, under the care of the Rev. Dr. years, Dr. Black's assistant at Edinburgh, Bateman, and his mathematical acquire. and ultimately Professor of Natural Phiments, into the higher parts of which he losophy in St. Andrew's; the other, a advanced with great success, by the as- gentleman whose name we have not sistance of the celebrated Mr. Dawson, learned, continued to reside there winile Being early distinguished by his studious he lived. disposition and the rapidity of his attain. Dr. Willan remained at Darlington ments, he was a favourite pupil with about a year; during which period be both his tutors, and was advanced by the analyzed the sulphureous water at Croft, former into the classes of his seniors, a village about four miles from that place, ainong whom he maintained his station and wrote a small treatise respecting its by the excellence of his lessons and exer. chemical and medicinal qualities, con cises. He became ultimately an accom- taining also a comparison of its properties plished classical scholar, and was deem- with those of the llarrogate waters. ed to excel his master in his critical This tract was published by Johnson in knowledge of Greek: Mr. Dawson like- 1782, with the title of “Observations on wise esteemed him one of the most suc. the Sulphur Water at Croft, near Dar. cessful students of the mathematics, lington:" and a second edition was print. among the numerous able pupils whom ed a few years afterwards. In the be. he instructed in that sciencet. The me ginning of 1782, not deeming an esta. dical profession had long been determined blishment at Darlington worth contendupon as the object of his future pursuit, iug for, Dr. Willan determined to return and he commenced his studies in that to London. The assistance of Dr. Fo. line at Edinburgh, in the autumn of thergill was now lost to him; but he ex. 1777. Afier the usual residence of three perienced much active friendship from years in that university, he received the Mrs. Fothergill, the doctor's surviving degree of Doctor in 1780, when he pub- sister. His advantage, however, was lished his inaugural dissertation, « De greatly promoted by the establishment · Jecinoris Inflammatione." In the au. of the Public Dispensary, in Careytumn of the same year he repaired to street, which was opened in the comi. the inetropolis with the view of obtaining mencement of 1783, and was chiefly ac farther medical information, and attended complished by the exertions of some of lectures with great assiduity.
his friends. He was appointed sole phy. An arrangement had been made some sician to it; and, under his humane and time previously with Dr. Trotter, a rela. active superintendence, together with tive, and a physician of some eminence that of his able and benevolent colleague
at Darlington, in the county of Durham, Mr. John Pearson, the surgeon to the - but advanced in life; in consequence of institution, the new Dispensary speedily
which he intended to decline practice in flourished, and became one of the most that place in favour of his young friend, extensive and respectable establishments as soon as he had completed his studies of its kind in London. He resided at
this time in Bartlett's Buildings, Holborn, . Dr. Robert Willan, sen. graduated at
with a family counected with the Society Edinburgh, in 1745.
of Friends. | A former Number of the Monthly Mag. In March 1785, having passed his ex jindebted to Dr. Willan for an account of aminations before the College of Phys. Mr. Dawson-EDITOR.
cians with great credit, he was admitted
. Licentiate of that body; on which oc- detect, like an accomplished artist, the casion he addressed some congratulatory minute peculiarities in the appearances Greek verses to the board of Censors., of these diseases, which escaped the noAbout the year 1786, he engaged in the tice of ordinary observers, was very reoffice of teacher, and delivered lectures markable. During the whole of bis ca. on the principles and practice of medi. reer, he was not less assiduously employcine at the Public Dispensary. But his ed in examining the records of medicine, Success, we believe, in this undertaking, both ancient and modern, than in the ac. was inconsiderable. Such attempts, in- tual observation of diseases; of which deed, have seldom proved eminently ad- the learning and critical acumen disa vantageous, except in connexion with the played in his publications, as well as the large hospitals, the reputation accruing mass of manuscript collections which be from an attendance on these great schools has left behind, afford abundant proof. being deemed of almost equal importance His habits of domestic privacy enabled to the future success of the student, with him to dedicate a large portion of time to the knowledge to be acquired there. At these researches; and indeed to the unaa subsequent period, Dr. Willan received, bating ardor 'with which he applied himas pupils at the Dispensary, young phy- self to them, must be attributed that presicians who had recently graduated, and mature injury of his health, which shortwho were initiated into actual practice, ened the period of bis life. under his superintendence, among the The rise of medical reputation, unaspatients of the institution; a mode of sisted by powerful connections, when all tuition from which they derived much unworthy arts of advancement are disa practical knowledge, and were gradually dained, must necessarily be very slow. habituated to the responsibility of their For a considerable time it has no exisprofessional daties. Upwards of forty tence, even in the narrow circle of priphysicians, almost all of whom have sub. vate friends, whose confidence is placed sequently attained professional reputa. on older heads; and ultimately, it springs tion, or now occupy responsible situa. but from the gradual accumulation of intions, both in this country and abroad, dividual approbation, as the opportuni, have received the benefit of this in- ties of meriting it from time to time struction,
From the time when Dr. Willan set. "Crescit occulto velut arbor evo tled in London, he pursued his professi Fama - " onal avocations with an indefatigable in- Dr. Willan's advance to public reputa. dustry and attention, of which there per- tion, and to the consequent emoluments haps are few examples. He never of the profession, was, however, reguquitted the metropolis for any considera larly progressive, though slow; and his tion of health or pleasure during a period publications, especially his Treatise on of thirty years. For many years he con- the Diseases of the Skin, upon which his ducted the medical department of two posthumous reputation will principally dispensaries, (having subsequently been rest, finally placed his professional chai favoured with an appointment to the racter upon high ground. In the spring Finsbury Dispensary, in addition to that of 1791, he had the honour of being of Carey-street,) during which his unre- chosen a Fellow of the Society of Antimitting attention to the progress of the quaries. He had been early attached to diseases which came under his care, is antiquarian researches, and in his juveevinced by the prodigious collection of pile days had, with considerable industry cases, which he has recorded in MS, and accuracy, collected from the Odyssey mostly in a neat Latin style, in which he a history of the manners of the primeval wrote with great fluency. From this as. times of Greece. Latterly he commu. siduous and patient observation of the nicated soine papers to the Society, of phenomena of disease, he doubtless ac- which, however, he declined the honour quired that acute diagnostic skill, which of publication; particularly a collection is the true characteristic of a sound phyof provincial words, and an elaborate sician, and which all, who have wite essay on the practice of “Lustration by nessed his practice, allowed hiin to have Need-fire,” (scarcely extince in some of possessed in an eininent degree. This the northern counties, which led him discriminative talent, indeed, has been into a curious and extensive research, re. suficiently manifested in his great work specting similar practices in ancient "on Cutaneous Diseases;" but the de- cimes, and the mythological supersticions licacy of his tact, which enabled him to connected with them. It was por until
the month of February 1809, that he was ultimate appeal on these subjects: for, elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. however generally skilled in every other
The increase of his professional avo- department of medical practice, bis repucations, which had compelled him some · tation for peculiar knowledge on this point time before to resign his office in the had certainly excluded him, in some meaFinsbury Dispensary, led him, in the year sure, from that universal occupation in his 1800, to wish to lessen the fatigue of his profession, to which he was so well enduties at the Public Dispensary, and ac- titled. cordingly his friend and pupil, Dr. T. A. From his childhood Dr. Willan had Murray, was appointed his colleague in been of a delicate constitution; his comtbat year. This active and intelligent plexion in early life being pale and femi. physicians, through whose exertions, aided nine, and his form slender. His exby the Society for bettering the Condition tremely regular and temperate mode of of the Poor, the Fever Institution of the life, however, had procured him an uninmetropolis was established, was unfortu- terrupted share of moderate health, and nately cut off in February 1802, by the latterly even a certain degree of corpucontagion of fever, caught in the infected Jency of person, though without the apapartments of the first patients who were pearance of robust strength. admitted into the Institution. Dr. Wile" In the winter of 1810, some of his lan, who had strenuously recommended friends bad remarked a slight shrinking this establishment, was nominated one of of bulk and change in his complexion : its physicians extraordinary. Iu Decem. but it was put till the following spring, ver 1303, finding bis private practice in- that symptoms of actual disease mani. corpatible with a proper attention to the fested themselves. Being at this time concerns of the Dispensary, which he had accidentally called upon to make some now superintended for the space of nearly bodily exertion in assisting a patient, his twenty-one years, he resigned his office. respiration became oppressed, and he exThe governors of the charity, in testimonypectorated some blood. Soon afterwards of their gratitude for his services, and he suffered two severe attacks of catarrb esteem for his character, nominated him ju immediate succession, which, as be Consulting Physician, and made him a did not desist from his professional arogovernor for life, and likewise presenied cations out of doors, did not readily sube him with a piece of plate, of the value of side, and left behind a considerable dilo fifiy guineas, inscribed with a testimonial ficulty of breathing, which rendered the of their attachment and respect*.
horizontal posture in bed insupportable, For several years previous to his resig. with sleeplessness, total loss of appetite, nation, Dr. Willan's fame and charac- cough, hoarseness, and a very unequal ter bad been fully established, and the and irregular state of the pulse; sympo emoluments derived from his practice toms which seemed to imply an effusion very ample. He had, during the prece of water into the cavity of the chest, and ding course of years, resided successively perhaps into the pericardium. The comin Ely Place, Holborn, and in Red Lion plexion now became exceedingly sallow, Square, in connection with the family be and the tunica conjunctiva of the eyes fore mentioned ; and lastly, on bis mar- assumed a yellowish bue. Witb a view riage in the spring of 1801, he settled in to obtain some respite from professional Bloomsbury Square. He was now not fatigue, as well as the advantage of a only generally consulted, especially by betier air, he took a house, in June, 1811, persons labouring under cutaneous dis. at Craven-hill, about a mile from town, eases, but was also referred to on all occa« on the Uxbridge road, where he spent sions by his professional brethren, as the his time, with the exception of two of
three hours in the middle of the day, * This inscription was written by the late when he went to Bloomsbury-square, to learned and reverend Dr. Matthew Raine, one receive the patients who came thither to of the governors of the Dispensary, and was as follows : « Viro integerrimo, artis scien
consult him. During the months of tiæque suæ peritissimo, Roberto Willan,
- July and August, partly in consequence M.D. ob felicissimam operam, in morbis ege.
of the nildness of the season, and partly porum civium sai.andis, viginti annos amplius of the employment of some active me gratuito et strenue navatam, ægrotantium dicines, and of the repeated application apud Londinenges pauperum Patroni, amico of blisters, the cough- and hoarsenese amici, L. L. D. D.D., A.D. 1804, Preside Co were removed; but the other symptoms mite Sandvicense, collatae pecuniæ Custode underwent liule change, and the lower Gulielmo Waddington.".
extremities became gradually, but a
length length severely, anasarcous, from the the remuneration to which he was enfeet upwards. A sudden unfavourable titled, when the circumstances of the change of the weather, in September, oc patient appeared to render it oppressive, casioned a return of the cough and in his intercourse with bis professional hoarseness, with some expectoration; brethren, he was liberal and independent, and the probability of becoming phthie and extremely tender of giving offence. sical, under the influence of an English As a practitioner, as we have already obo winter, induced him to accede to the served, he was a close and faithful ob. strenuous recommendation of some of his server of diseases, and by the peculiar friends, and to undertake a voyage to quickness with which he detected their Madeira. He accordingly, embarked characteristic appearances, however otwith his family in the Thames, on the scured by complication, be had obtained 10th of October; and, after being fifty- a copious store or sound experience: yet three days on shipboard, detained by it has been remarked, that he did not foul winds in the Downs and at Ports always prescrive with that vigour and mouth, he arrived at Madeira on the 1st decision which so much discriminative of December. During this interval, a talent would have authorised. considerable hardness and tumefaction A s a professional writer, Dr. Willan took place in the abdomen, with an effu- appeared early, in his contributions to sion of water into that cavity, and he the periodical works. On bis arrival in was harrassed by a dysenteric attack. London, he became a member of a prie By perseverance in an active course of vate medical society, which held its medicine, however, after his arrival at meetings at a coffee-house, in Cecil-street, Funchall, all the symptoms were consi. and which published two volumes of derably alleviated ; insomuch that, in the papers, under the title of “ Medical month of February, he meditated a re- Communications," in 1784 and 1790. In turn to the south of England in April. the second of these volumes he published But this alleviation was only temporary: the history of “ A remarkable Case of his disease was again aggravated; the Abstinence," in a hypochondriacal young dropsy, and its concomitant obstruction man, which was interrupted for the space to the functions, increased; and, with his of sixty-one days, and terminated fatally. faculties remaining entire to the last, he We believe that this was the only me expired on the 7th of April, 1812, in the dical society of which he was ever a fifty-6fth year of his age.
member. By the death of Dr. Willan, the pro. Several communications from himn were fession was deprived of one of its bright also printed in the London Medical ornaments, and of its zealous and able Journal, edited between the years 1781 improvers; the sick of a humane, disin- and 1790, by Dr. Simmons. In the 4th terested, and discerning, physician; and volume, page 421, a short letrer of his the world of an estimable and upright appears, stating the character of a nonman. By his exterior deportment in descript Byssus, found in the sulphureous public, indeed, he was far from rendering waters of Aix, and differing from that justice to his own character. His early which he had discovered in the waters edacation, bis studious mode of life, and of Croft and Dinsdale. In the sixth retiring disposition, prevented that dis. volume of the same Journal, he relates a play of his various and extensive know- fatal case of obstruction in the bowels, ledge, in mixed society, which delighted from coostriction of the colon near the the privacy of a small circle of friends, sigmoid nexure, which prevented any and which was dispensed with much evacuation for upwards of thirty days playfulness and simplicity of manner. before death; to which he appended In all the relations of domestic life, in. some useful reflections on the diagnostic deed, he was an object of general esteein symptoms of these obstructions, as ocand attachment. The gentleness and curring in the large or in the small inhumanity of his disposition were equally testines. In the seventh volume he deconspicuous, in the exercise of his pro- scribes the care of a case of chorea, by fessional duties; in the patient attention the cuprum ammoniacum, which, howwith which lie listened to the complaints ever, he candidly acknowledges, in a subof the sick, whom, in his fullest occu- sequent publication, speedily recurred, pation, he never dismissed from his pre- and was cured by very different means. sence, dissatisfied with the brevity of his In the same volume he relates also a sine inquiries; and in the liberality with which gular termination of abdominal dropsy, he imparted his assistance, yet refused by a spontaneous discharge of the fluid