John Fothergill (physician)
- For other people called "John Fothergill" see John Fothergill.
Life and work
Fothergill was born of at Carr End, near Bainbridge in Yorkshire, the son of John Fothergill (1676–1745), a Quaker preacher and farmer, and his first wife, Margaret Hough (1677–1719). After studying at Sedbergh School, Fothergill was apprenticed to an apothecary. He later took the degree of M.D. at Edinburgh, in 1736, followed by further studies at St Thomas' Hospital, London. After visiting continental Europe in 1740, he settled in London, where he gained an extensive practice. For example, during the epidemics of influenza in 1775 and 1776 he is said to have had sixty patients daily.
In 1745, he gave a brief lecture to the Royal Society of London, citing the work of a Scottish physician and surgeon, William Tossach (1700?–1771), which is the first known lecture on the practice of mouth-to-mouth ventilation.
He is credited with first identifying and naming trigeminal neuralgia in his work Of a painful affection of the face in 1765.
Fothergill's pamphlet, Account of the Sore Throat attended with Ulcers (1748), contains one of the first descriptions of streptococcal sore throat in English, and was translated into several languages. His rejection of ineffective traditional therapies for this disease saved many lives.
Botanist and Quaker
In his leisure, John Fothergill made a study of conchology and botany. At Upton, near Stratford, London, he had an extensive botanical garden where he grew many rare plants obtained from various parts of the world (now West Ham Park). In the garden, with its glasshouses, John Coakley Lettsom (1744–1815), a Quaker physician and a protégé of his, exclaimed that "the sphere seemed transposed, as the Arctic Circle joined with the equator". Lettsom published a catalogue of the plants of Fothergill's garden Hortus Uptonensis, or a catalogue of the plants in the Dr. Fothergill’s garden at Upton, at the time of his decease anno 1780. Fothergilla is named in his honour.
He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1763.
A translation of the Bible, known as the Quaker Bible (1764 sq.) by Anthony Purver, a Quaker, was made and printed at his expense. Fothergill was also a popular Quaker preacher. The diarist Sylas Neville wrote on Sunday, February 22, 1767, "Dr. Fothergill preached from Luke xvi 19–25.... The house is so much crowded when Dr. F. preaches that I often stand in the passage."
He founded Ackworth School, Pontefract, Yorkshire in 1779.
John Fothergill died in London aged 68 on 26 December 1780.
- Fothergill, John; Elliot, John (1781). A Complete Collection of the Medical and Philosophical Works of John Fothergill. London: John Walker.
- Claus Bernet (2010). "John Fothergill (physician)". In Bautz, Traugott. Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL) (in German) 31. Nordhausen: Bautz. cols. 456–464. ISBN 978-3-88309-544-8.
- Fothergill, Samuel; Crosfield, George (1843). Memoirs of the Life and Gospel Labours of Samuel Fothergill, with Selections from his Correspondence. London: D. Marples.- contains information on John Fothergill, the author's father
- Harvey, Karen, editor (2005). The Kiss in History. Manchester: Manchester University Press. – See Chapter 5: Davidson, Luke, The kiss of life in the eighteenth century: the fate of an ambiguous kiss.
- Fox, Richard Hingston (1919). Dr. John Fothergill and his friends; chapters in eighteenth century life. London: Macmillan.
- ODNB article by Margaret DeLacy, ‘Fothergill, John (1712–1780)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, Oct 2007 , accessed 24 Feb 2008.
- The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
- Lettsom, Memoires of John Fothergill, M.D. (1786), quoted in Alice M. Coats, Garden Shrubs and their Histories (1964) 1992, s.v. "Clematis".
- "John Fothergill". Retrieved 2008-09-11.
- The Diary of Sylas Neville 1767–1788. Ed. Basil Cozens-Hardy (London: Oxford University Press, 1950), p. 4.