Olliffe, Joseph Francis (DNB00)

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OLLIFFE, Sir JOSEPH FRANCIS (1808–1869), physician, son of Joseph Olliffe, merchant, of Cork, by Elizabeth, daughter of Charles McCarthy of Sunville, co. Limerick, was born at Cork in 1808. He was educated in Paris, and graduated M.A. at the university in 1829, and M.D. in 1840. For some time he acted as tutor in the family of the Count de Cresnoi, but in 1840 he commenced the practice of medicine in Paris. He was a fellow of the Anatomical Society of Paris, and at one period filled the post of president of the Paris Medical Society. Louis-Philippe in 1846 appointed him a knight of the Legion of Honour, and he was promoted to the rank of officer in 1855 by Napoleon III. In March 1852 he became physician to the British embassy, and on 13 June in the following year was knighted at Buckingham Palace. The board of trade nominated him a juror for hygiene, pharmacy, surgery, and medicine in the French international exhibition in April 1855; in 1861 he was appointed one of the committee for sanitary appliances in the international exhibition of 1862, and he became a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London in 1859. He enjoyed for many years a large practice and considerable social position. Inheriting by his marriage in 1841 with Laura (d. 1898), second daughter of Sir William Cubitt, a large fortune, he was able to entertain largely. The friend as well as the physician of Count de Morny, he joined him in extensive building operations at Deauville, near Trouville, a watering-place which they may be said to have created. The heavy responsibilities connected with this unremunerative speculation much clouded his later years. He died at Brighton on 14 March 1869.

[Register and Magazine of Biography, April 1869, p. 296; British Medical Journal, 20 March 1869, p. 274.]

G. C. B.