William Beilby (physician)

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33 Great King Street, home of Dr William Beilby
The grave of Dr William Beilby, Warriston Cemetery

Dr William Beilby FRCPE (13 April 1783 – 30 May 1849) was a British philanthropic physician in Edinburgh.


Born in 1783 in Sheffield, the second son of Thomas and Isabella Beilby. In 1783 the family moved to Birmingham.[1]

In 1807 he entered into a partnership in the linen trade with some relatives in Dublin, and in 1808 married Maria Catherine Moller (1790-1868). They had three children whilst living in Dublin but only one survived.

In 1813 he moved to Edinburgh to study medicine. He and his wife had a further nine children in Edinburgh.

After taking the degree of M.D. in 1816, he settled in Edinburgh to practise midwifery. He soon obtained a high reputation in his profession, and was appointed physician accoucheur to the New Town Dispensary at 4 East James Street (demolished to build the St James Centre).[2] He took a prominent interest in benevolent and religious matters, including the schemes of the Evangelical Alliance, and was the first president of the Medical Missionary Society.

In 1828 he is listed as a Governor of the Dean Orphan Hospital.[3]

In 1832-33 he was residing at 33 Great King Street in Edinburgh.[4]

He died in Edinburgh on 30 May 1849. He is buried in Warriston Cemetery near the now-sealed eastern entrance.


He was married to Maria Catherine Moller (1790-1867).

His son Julius Henry Beilby became Chairman of the Clydesdale Bank.



 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain"Beilby, William". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.