John Radcliffe (physician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Right Honourable
Dr John Radcliffe
John Radcliffe.jpg
Member of Parliament for Bramber
In office
20 March 1690[1] – 11 October 1695[1]
Monarch William III
Preceded by John Alford
Succeeded by Nicholas Barbon with William Stringer
Member of Parliament for Buckingham
In office
12 November 1713[2] – 1 November 1714[3]
Monarch Anne I
Preceded by Thomas Chapman
Succeeded by Alexander Denton and Abraham Stanyan
Personal details
Born John Radcliffe
(1653-01-23)23 January 1653 (baptised)
Wakefield, Yorkshire, England
Died 1 November 1714(1714-11-01) (aged 61)
Nationality English
Political party Tory
Alma mater University College University of Oxford
Religion Protestant

Dr John Radcliffe (c. 1652 – 1 November 1714[3]) BA MA(Oxon) MP was an English physician, academic and politician. A number of landmark buildings in Oxford, including the Radcliffe Camera (in Radcliffe Square), the Radcliffe Infirmary, and the Radcliffe Observatory were named after him. The John Radcliffe Hospital, a large tertiary hospital in Headington was also named after him.

Life[edit]

Radcliffe was born the son of George Radcliffe, attorney, in Wakefield, Yorkshire, and was educated at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School and Northallerton Grammar School. He graduated from the University of Oxford, where he was an exhibitioner at University College tutored by Obadiah Walker, to become a Fellow of Lincoln College. He obtained his MD in 1682 and moved to London shortly afterwards. There he enjoyed great popularity and became royal physician to William III and Mary II.

In 1690 he was elected Member of Parliament for Bramber, Sussex[1] and in 1713 member for Buckingham.[2][4]

On his death in the following year, his property was bequeathed to various charitable causes, including St Bartholomew's Hospital and University College, Oxford, where the Radcliffe Quad is named after him. The charitable trust founded by his will of 13 September 1714 still operates as a registered charity.[5]

Anecdotes of Radcliffe[edit]

1. Among the many singularities related of Radcliffe, it has been noticed that, when he was in a convivial party, he was unwilling to leave it, even though sent for by persons of the highest distinction. Whilst he was thus deeply engaged at a tavern, he was called on by a grenadier, who desired his immediate attendance on his colonel; but no entreaties could prevail on the physician to postpone his revelry.

"Sir," quoth the soldier, "my orders are to bring you." And being a very powerful man, he took him up in his arms, and carried him off per force. After traversing some dirty lanes, the doctor and his escort arrived at a narrow alley.
"What the Devil is all this," said Radcliffe, "your colonel doesn't live here?"
"No," said his military friend, "my colonel does not live here – but my comrade does, and he's worth two of the colonel, so by God, doctor, if you don't do your best for him, it will be the worst for you!"[6]

2. To confer medical authority upon themselves, doctors of the day often published their theories, clinical findings, and pharmacopoeia (collections of "receipts" or prescriptions). Radcliffe, however, not only wrote little but also took a certain iconoclastic pride in having read little, remarking once of some vials of herbs and a skeleton in his study: “This is Radcliffe’s library.” However, he bequeathed a substantial sum of money to Oxford for the founding of the Radcliffe Library, an endowment which, Samuel Garth quipped, was "about as logical as if a eunuch should found a seraglio."[7]

Medical institutions named after Radcliffe[edit]

The John Radcliffe Hospital and the Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford are named after John Radcliffe, as is Oxford Radcliffe Private Healthcare[8] which is based at the John Radcliffe Hospital.

Works[edit]

  • Dr. Radcliffe's practical dispensatory : containing a complete body of prescriptions, fitted for all diseases, internal and external, digested under proper heads . Rivington, London 4th Ed. by Edward Strother 1721 Digital edition by the University and State Library Düsseldorf

Further reading[edit]

  • Hone, Campbell R. (1950) The Life of Dr. John Radcliffe, 1652–1714, Benefactor of the University of Oxford. London: Faber and Faber.
  • Guest, Ivor (1991) Dr John Radcliffe and His Trust. London: The Radcliffe Trust, 595 pages ISBN 0-9502482-1-5

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "The History of Parliament, 1690". http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/. The History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "The History of Parliament, 1713". The History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "RADCLIFFE, John (1653–1714), of Wolverton, Bucks., and Carshalton, Surr.". The History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  4. ^ "History of Parliament". History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 10 November 2011. 
  5. ^ Dr Radcliffe's Trust, Registered Charity no. 209212 at the Charity Commission
  6. ^ Project Gutenberg
  7. ^ Otto L. Bettmann, A Pictorial History of Medicine (Springfield, Illinois: Charles C. Thomas, 1956), 192.
  8. ^ Oxford Radcliffe Private Healthcare
Parliament of England
Preceded by
John Alford
Member of Parliament for Bramber
with Nicholas Barbon 1690–1695
Succeeded by
Nicholas Barbon
with William Stringer 1695–1698
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Sir Richard Temple, 4th Bt
Thomas Chapman
Member of Parliament for Buckingham
with Thomas Chapman

1713–1714
Succeeded by
Alexander Denton
Abraham Stanyan