John Bostock (physician)

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John Bostock c. 1836

John Bostock, Jr. MD FRS (baptised 29 June 1773, died 6 August 1846) was an English physician, scientist and geologist from Liverpool.[1][2]


Bostock was a son of Dr. John Bostock, Sr.[2] He spent some time at New College at Hackney where he attended Joseph Priestley's lectures on chemistry and natural philosophy,[3] before graduating in Medicine at the University of Edinburgh[4] and practising medicine in Liverpool. He moved to London in 1817 where he concentrated on general science.[5] In 1819, Bostock was first to accurately describe hay fever as a disease that affected the upper respiratory tract.[6]

He lectured on chemistry at Guy's Hospital and was President of the Geological Society of London in 1826 when that body was granted a Royal Charter and Vice President of the Royal Society in 1832.[5]

Bostock died of cholera in 1846;[4] He is buried in the Kensal Green Cemetery, London.


Bostock was one of the first chemical pathologists. He was the first to realise the relationship between the diminution of urea in urine as it rose in the blood, while the albumin in the blood fell as that in the urine increased.[7] His most noted book, System of Physiology, appeared in 1824.[5] His only geological work was On the Purification of Thames Water which appeared in 1826.[5] He also collaborated with Henry Thomas Riley on a translation of Pliny the Elder's Natural History, which was published posthumously.[8]


He married Anne Yates and they had a daughter named Elizabeth Anne Bostock in 1817. She devited her life to improving the supply of women's education. His wife outlived him and died in 1863.[9]


  1. ^ John Bostock (1773–1846).
  2. ^ a b Moore, Norman "Bostock, John (1773–1846)". in Dictionary of National Biography, 1885–1900, Volume 5
  3. ^ John Bostock to Benjamin Rush, 4 June 1805; Library Company of Philadelphia, Rush MS 25/71.
  4. ^ a b "John Bostock". Feature of the Month – History of the RSM. Royal Society of Medicine. July 2008. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 8 November 2008.
  5. ^ a b c d Canning, S. (29 September 2007). "John Bostock". Find a Grave. Retrieved 8 November 2008.
  6. ^ "The History of Allergy". Auckland Allergy Clinic. December 2001. Archived from the original on 14 October 2008. Retrieved 8 November 2008.
  7. ^ Cameron, Stewart (28 October 2008). "John Bostock MD FRS (1773–1846): Physician and Chemist in the Shadow of a Genius". American Journal of Nephrology. S. Karger AG, Basel. 14 (4–6): 365–70. doi:10.1159/000168749. PMID 7847470. Retrieved 9 November 2008.
  8. ^ Gaius Plinius Secundus (1855). The Natural History of Pliny. 1. Translated by John Bostock and Henry Thomas Riley. London: Henry G. Bohn.
  9. ^ "Bostock, Elizabeth Anne [Eliza] (1817–1898), promoter of women's education". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. 2004. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/52743. Retrieved 7 April 2020. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)