Granville, Augustus Bozzi (DNB00)

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GRANVILLE, AUGUSTUS BOZZI (1783–1872), physician and Italian patriot, third son of Carlo Bozzi, for sixty years postmaster-general at Milan, was born at Milan on 7 Oct. 1783. His maternal grandmother, Rosa Granville, wife of Chevalier Rapazzini, was the daughter of Bevil Granville, a Cornish gentleman who had settled in Italy on account of political troubles. After a varied education Bozzi entered the university of Pavia as a medical student in 1799, under Spallanzani, Scarpa, Volta, and Joseph Frank. He was an ardent republican, and was imprisoned for giving public addresses and writing lampoons in a daily sheet, the ‘Giornale senza Titolo.’ After his release he became a more serious student, and received the diploma of doctor of medicine in 1802. Fearing the French conscription, Bozzi escaped by stratagem to Genoa, and thence reached Venice, joining a dramatic company by the way. He visited Corfu in 1803, and made the acquaintance of W. R. Hamilton, then private secretary to Lord Elgin at Constantinople, with whom he travelled in Greece, and saw Ali Pasha at Janina. Hamilton being ordered home, Bozzi became second physician to the Turkish fleet, cruised among the Greek islands, and visited Jerusalem. He afterwards left the Turkish service, sailed in a trading venture to Malaga, and practised medicine in Spain. At Madrid he was received by Godoy, and saw the best society. His mother died about this time, and, in accordance with her deathbed wish, he took the name of Granville. Reaching Lisbon about Christmas 1806, Granville found an English fleet in the Tagus, and obtained an appointment as assistant-surgeon to the Raven. Successive examinations at Haslar and at the College of Surgeons secured Granville the appointment of full surgeon to the fleet; and in 1813 he became M.R.C.S., and in 1817 L.R.C.P. He served on board the Millbrook, which was wrecked off Portugal, and subsequently on the Elizabeth and the Cordelia. He was invalided at Deal, and joined the English church, declaring himself a convert from atheism. He married a Miss Kerr early in 1809, and was appointed to the Arachne for the West Indian station. At Antigua he met General Bolivar, then seeking the aid of Great Britain, and was commissioned in 1811 to deliver Spanish documents to the colonial secretary in London, having been declared unfit for the West Indian station. During a short visit to Manchester he became intimate with Dalton the chemist, and published his first English writing. During 1812 he served in the Maidstone (which was at Quiberon Bay and the bombardment of Cadiz) and in the Swift- sure. He was sent home to give evidence at a court-martial, and settled in London on half-pay in January 1813 as tutor to the sons of his old friend Hamilton. He studied at the Westminster Hospital, was house-pupil with Sir Anthony Carlisle, and then attended the private lectures of Tuthill, Taunton, and Joshua Brookes. During 1813 Granville translated many Peninsular bulletins for distribution in Italy to excite a rising against the French, which were republished in ‘L'Italico,’ a journal which he conducted in London. In 1814 Granville went with Hamilton to the Paris congress, and thence to Milan with despatches, revisiting his father. He travelled through Italy, meeting many eminent men, and promoting the movement for independence. After being improperly arrested by the Austrians he returned through Geneva with a warning, neglected by the government, of Napoleon's probable escape from Elba. He brought to London the earliest specimen of iodine, then recently isolated by Gay-Lussac. In the autumn Granville undertook the lectureship on chemistry at the Windmill Street medical school, and permanently lost the sense of smell by an accident with chlorine gas. The school broke up in 1815, the treasurer absconded, and Granville was not paid for his lectures. During the early part of 1815 he introduced to the Duke of Sussex a deputation from the provisional government at Milan, offering him the Italian crown.

In September 1815 Granville materially assisted Canova in his mission to Paris to procure the restoration of the Italian art treasures. In gratitude Canova presented him with a genuine portrait of the anatomist, Vesalius, by Titian. By the advice of Sir Walter Farquhar [q. v.] Granville spent most of 1816–17 in Paris, at La Maternité, in order to qualify himself as an accoucheur. He also studied under Cuvier, Gay-Lussac, Jussieu, Haüy, Majendie, and Orfila, working eighteen hours a day. He prepared an (unpublished) ‘History of Science in France during the Revolution.’ He deposited the drawings made for the work with the Institute of British Architects. In 1817 he was elected F.R.S., and in 1818 he settled in practice at Savile Row, became physician accoucheur to the Westminster General Dispensary, and soon gained considerable practice. He gave important evidence in support of the quarantine laws before two parliamentary committees, edited the ‘Medical Intelligencer’ (started in 1820), and for two years the ‘London Medical and Physical Journal,’ introduced the use of prussic acid in small doses in irritative chest affections, and vigorously defended himself against some strictures of Professor Brande. His general medical practice consequently increased greatly. He established a West-end infirmary (really a dispensary) for sick children, and in fifteen years registered the cases of twenty-five thousand children. He took an active part in 1825 in promoting the requirement of a knowledge of midwifery by the medical corporations from candidates. In 1826–7 he was a candidate for the professorship of midwifery at the new university of London, when Brougham is said to have suppressed his testimonials in the interests of Mrs. Brougham's physician. Granville's return was to dedicate his ‘Catechism of Health’ to Brougham. In 1827 he made a journey to St. Petersburg with the Count and Countess Woronzow, the incidents of which he recounted in two bulky volumes; his absence being prolonged a few days beyond the prescribed time he was peremptorily struck off the navy half-pay list. He was secretary of the visitors of the Royal Institution for twenty years (1832–52), and introduced important reforms in its management. He criticised the constitution of the Royal Society in pamphlets (1830 and 1836), mentioned below, and though he gave much offence helped to secure reforms in the mode of electing fellows and publishing papers. In 1831 he published a ‘Catechism of Health,’ with simple rules for avoiding cholera, of which four editions were published in one month. He was elected president of the Westminster Medical Society in 1829, and his presidency was notable for the exhaustive discussion of the Gardner peerage case (Medical Gazette, 12 Dec. 1829). He was also an active member and vice-president of the British Medical Association. He advocated in 1836–7 the adoption of Martin's plan for purifying the Thames, and collected information in many parts of Europe upon the disposal of sewage. His report was published at Lord Euston's expense. In 1837 he published ‘The Spas of Germany,’ and in 1841 ‘The Spas of England and Sea-bathing Places.’ These were followed by several other works on similar subjects. His last medical work of importance (on counter-irritation) appeared in 1838. From 1840 to 1868 he regularly spent three months in every year at Kissingen, the repute of which is largely due to him.

Granville, whose family was connected with the Bonapartes in Corsica (as afterwards shown in Joseph Bonaparte's first volume of ‘Memoirs’ in 1853), was the confidential friend of the ex-king Joseph from 1832 to his death, and was present at some historic interviews between Joseph and his nephew Louis, afterwards emperor. In 1848 he advocated the cause of Italian unity, and in 1849 visited St. Petersburg professionally. In 1853 he wrote a remarkable letter to Lord Palmerston on the physical and mental constitution of the Emperor Nicholas and his family; he predicted Nicholas's death before July 1855. After his wife's death in 1861 Granville gradually gave up practice in London, but continued to practise at Kissingen till 1868. He then set about writing his autobiography, a work which, though prolix and egotistical, contains interesting notices of many remarkable people. He died at Dover on 3 March 1872, aged 88. Four sons and one daughter survived him.

Granville was about the middle height, somewhat square-faced, with a high forehead, keen-looking, and firm. His manners were very suave and prepossessing, and his conversation was lively, witty, and learned. Dr. Munk observes that he was full of resource in practice, confident in his own powers, and able to impart confidence to his patients. ‘He was a good nurse and a better cook, qualities which did him good service on many occasions.’

Granville wrote, besides many minor papers: 1. ‘Critical Observations on Mr. Kemble's Performances at the Theatre Royal, Manchester,’ 1811. 2. ‘An Appeal to the Emperor of Russia on Italy,’ 1814. 3. ‘An Account of the Life and Writings of Baron Guyton de Morveau,’ 1817. 4. ‘Report on the Practice of Midwifery at the Westminster General Dispensary,’ 1818. 5. ‘Further Observations on the Internal Use of the Hydrocyanic (Prussic) Acid in Pulmonary Complaints,’ 1819. 6. ‘On the Plague and Contagion, with reference to the Quarantine Laws,’ 1819. 7. ‘An Historical and Practical Treatise on the Internal Use of Hydrocyanic Acid in Diseases of the Chest,’ 1820. 8. ‘An Essay on Egyptian Mummies, with Observations on the Art of Embalming among the Egyptians,’ 1825. [Granville had examined a mummy brought from Egypt in 1824, and lectured upon the subject to the Royal Institution.] 9. ‘Letter to the Right Hon. Mr. Huskisson on the Quarantine Laws,’ 1825. 10. ‘St. Petersburg: a Journal of Travels to and from that capital,’ 2 vols., 1828; second edition, 1829. 11. ‘Reform in Science, or Science without a Head, and the Royal Society Dissected,’ 1830. 12. ‘The Catechism of Health, or Simple Rules for the Preservation of Health and the Attainment of Long Life,’ 1832. 13. ‘Graphic Illustrations of Abortion, with Prolegomena on the Development of the Human Ovum,’ 4to, with 14 coloured plates, 1833. 14. ‘Report on the Thames Improvement Company,’ 1835. 15. ‘The Royal Society in the Nineteenth Century,’ 1836. 16. ‘Report of a Journey through Central Europe for Agricultural Inquiries,’ 1836. 17. ‘The Spas of Germany,’ 2 vols., 1837. 18. ‘Report on Arsenicated Candles,’ 1837. 19. ‘Medical Reform, being the first oration before the British Association,’ 1837. 20. ‘Counter-irritation, its Principles and Practice,’ 1838. 21. ‘The Spas of England and Sea-bathing Places,’ 3 vols., 1841. 22. ‘The Spas Revisited,’ 1843. 23. ‘Kissingen, its Sources and Resources,’ 1846. 24. ‘On the Formation of a Kingdom in Italy: two Letters to Lord Palmerston,’ 1848 and 1849. 25. ‘Sudden Death,’ 1854. 26. ‘The Sumbul, a new Asiatic Remedy,’ 1858. 27. ‘The Mineral Springs of Vichy,’ 1859. 28. ‘Obstetrical Statistics of the Industrial Classes of London,’ 1861. 29. ‘The Great London Question of the Day, Sewage v. Gold,’ 1865. 30. ‘Autobiography,’ 2 vols., 1874, edited by his youngest daughter, with portrait.

[Granville's Autobiography; Medical Times, 16 March 1872 i. 327, 1874 ii. 872; Lancet, 6 April 1872, i. 490; Munk's Coll. of Phys. iii. 174–7.]

G. T. B.