Obituary

1893 The Lancet  
IN taking a retrospect of the career of those members of -our profession who have attained to success and eminence in their respective spheres of action it will be found that in some instances certain favourable advantages have existed in "connexion with the individual, such as blood relationship, with one who has held an exalted and influential position in the profession, or with someone who is prominent in the social scale and is able to materially advance the career of the aspirant to fame,
more » ... aspirant to fame, and when these advantages have existed and their possessor is gifted with sound knowledge, 'energy, judgment and good health success comes rapidly. There are others, however, who have not been favoured by any of the advantages which so much assist a man in his professional career and yet owing to their own energy and perseverance have met with great success and led most useful lives. To this category the late Dr. Hawksley belonged, and, moreover, he laboured under the disadvantage of feeble health, and in consequence of disease in ,one of his lower limbs was rendered lame for the greater portion of his life; but his physical weakness was compensated for in a great measure by marked mental 'activity and determination of character. Born in 1820, Dr. Hawksley at the finish of his general education .determined to follow the profession of medicine, and prior to ,entering upon the usual curriculum at one of the public .schools he acted as assistant to Mr. Fincham of Spring-.gardens, a practitioner of the old school, who attended a considerable number of people of all classes in the neighbourhood and in Westminster. Here Dr. Hawksley had a good .opportunity of seeing the drudgery incidental to the duties -of the general practitioner fifty years ago and was a 'careful witness of the routine treatment which was carried on in those days even by highly educated men, for at that time the use of the lancet was much in vogue and inflammatory disorders, such as pneumonia and peritonitis, were 'treated by the most violent remedies, such agents as mercury .and antimony being used in frequent and excessive doses. ' , , In fact, in those days symptoms only were combated and little ' , 'heedwasgivento the causes which produced the morbid phenomenainquestion. During this time Dr. Hawksley paid much attention to the study of materia medica, always a favourite subject with him. Among other good advice which he gave to a junior pupil just entered upon professional study, he re-<commended him to write out the whole of Phillips' Pharma-cop&oelig;ia, which was at that time the standard work. He entered at the school of King's College in 1840, residing in the house of a practitioner in the neighbourhood. This was at a period when a student could qualify himself in about two, or at 'least three years, and Dr. Hawksley was not long in doing -this. He made the best use of the opportunities afforded I him by the distinguished teachers who were then raising the reputation of the school and was noted for his energy and intelligence, gaining a high position amongst his fellow pupils, and in a very short time obtaining his qualification. He married and took a small house in Margaretstreet, Cavendish-square, and there commenced the practice ,of his profession. After residing there for some, years he took the degrees of M. B. and M.D. of the London University, .and in 1854 obtained the Membership of the College of Physicians. His favourite study being in that direction, the attached himself as physician to the Infirmary for Diseases of the Chest in Margaret-street. He subsequently 'removed to George-street, Hanover-square, where he resided for several years, but later changed his abode to Brook--street. At this period of his life he was not only engaged in an extensive practice, but was devoting himself to -sanitary science and matters of philanthropy ; he took a leading part in the establishment of charitable societies and employed his pen on the subjects of pauperism, the charities .of London, the culture of the children of the people and <the sewerage of London. Besides these, he wrote papers on various medical subjects and warmly advocated the use of the earth closet. For some time he resided at Brighton, coming up to town frequently to attend his patients, and ultimately 'he purchased some property at Chertsey before withdrawing from the practice of his profession. At this latter place he developed a scheme which he had long revolved in his mind : on the property he purchased he erected a building which was formed into a School of Handicraft for Destitute Boys, who were rigorously trained to useful mechanical arts and were thus saved from poverty and crime and sent out into the world as redeemed and useful members of society. In . this noble work Dr. Hawksley spent the energies of his philanthropic mind during the last few years and was enabled to see it crowned with success. It is computed , that he devoted as much as £30,000 to this object alone. Always more or less feeble in frame, Dr. Hawksley had . during the latter years of his life suffered much in various ways. Some ten years since he underwent two operations for , stone in the bladder and subsequently during his life had much vesical trouble, but to the astonishment of those who had , known him long he reached the age of upwards of seventy and was cut off by an attack of obstruction of the bowels, for which colotomy was performed. Dr. Hawksley's success was due eii, tirely to his own perseverance. Without any brilliant qualities, he was a conscientious and diligent cultivator of his profession ; he was a shrewd observer, and not only did he take a deal of trouble in investigating the diseases of those he attended, but he had the fortunate gift of impressing his patients with the fact and consequently he gained their entire confidence. It is not often that men in our profession have such oppor. tunities of practically showing the results of that philan. thropic spirit which animated the subject of this memoir. His useful life will prove a great example to those who may be placed in similar positions of being able to benefit their fellow creatures. ' ____ JAMES R. D. P. BRIGHT, M.D., M.R.C.P. THE subject of the present notice, who died on Dec. 18th at the very advanced age of eighty-eight years, was some forty years ago a well-known and a much-respected physician at the West-end of London, having successfully carried on a practice at Cambridge-square for a period of about twenty years. Dr. Bright was the youngest son of Captain Bright, R.M.L.I., and was born at Stonehouse, Devonshire, on March 4th, 1804. When about six years old the Woolwich division of Marines was formed, and Captain Bright being appointed barrack master, the family removed to Woolwich. Dr. Bright, with his two brothers, was educated at Blundell's School, Tiverton, which in those early days had so high a reputation that their father considered the advantages obtained outweighed the difficulty presented in accomplishing so considerable a distance in the then coaching days, and many a good story could he relate of the adventures of his early schoolboy days, when he was contemporary with the celebrated "Jack Russell" and many other Devonshire worthies. On leaving school, having a desire to enter the medical profession, he was placed with Mr. Bannett of Fulham, who was at that time in an extensive practice. After completing his curriculum at Guy's and St. Thomas's Hospitals in the days of their amalgamation and obtaining the M. R. C. S. and L. S. A. qualifications, he was for a short period in the United East India Company's service and took three voyages to Calcutta, the last in the Cæsar, when he was in medical charge of a large number of troops. After his return from this voyage he settled in active practice in Brighton, where Jae was in partnership with the late Mr. Philpott, brother to the then Bishop of Worcester. In the year 1834 Dr. Bright removed to Wimbledon, where he had a very large practice and where he remained until 1844, when he settled in the West-end of London, having in the meantime taken the degree of M. D. Aberdeen in 1840. While in London Dr. Bright was for some years hon. secretary to the Medical Benevolent Fund and also hon. physician to the Institution for Governesses in Harley-street, many of whom found in him a most kind friend as well as a skilful medical adviser. Dr. Bright was admitted M.R.C.P. in 1859 ; he was also a Fellow of the Royal Geographical and the Geological Societies, in whose proceedings he took much interest. He wrote a work "On the Heart and Lungs," which he dedicated to his old friend and patient, Lord Cottenham, then Lord Chancellor, and which went through several editions. Dr. Bright left London in 1863, when he retired from practice and settled in Cheltenham, where he remained till 1878, and in 1882 he removed to Plymouth, where he died, much mourned and respected, on Dec. 18th, 1892. Dr. Bright married a daughter of the late Mr. John Hatchard, by whom he had ten children, six surviving, the second of whom, Mr. J. A. Bright, is a member of the medical profession
doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(02)19938-7 fatcat:cuuon3k7ynhpvhhzqij5cck3v4