Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 04.djvu/31

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Beattie
Beatty
27

him the true reason of her separation from her husband, and that it was not the one given by Mrs. Stowe.'

Dr. Beattie was long intimate with Thomas Campbell, and was selected by the poet as his biographer, an office which he discharged in 1849 by the publication of 'The Life and Letters of Thomas Campbell,' in three volumes. In 1833 Beattie speaks of Campbell as coming to take up his Quarters at 'Rose Villa,' Beattie's cottage at Hampstead, where on former occasions he had experienced much benefit, and adds: 'These visits in after life were frequently repeated, and whenever he found himself relapsing into a depressed state of health and sprints, "Well," he would say, "I must come into hospital," and he would repair for another week to "Campbell's Ward," a room so named by the poet in the doctor's house.' In 1842 Campbell's 'Pilgrim of Glencoe' appeared, dedicated 'To William Beattie, M.D., in remembrance of long subsisting and mutual friendship.' Both as physician and friend Beattie seems to have been the great stay of the poet's declining years. On hearing of Campbell's illness in 1844, Beattie hastened to his bedside at Boulogne, and never left him again until all was over. Campbell's cherished wish to find his last resting-place in Westminster Abbey would probably never have been realised but for Beattie, nor would a statue have been placed in 'Poet's Corner' to his memory had not Beattie collected contributions to it, and made good a considerable deficit out of his own pocket. He was also intimate with Samuel Rogers, who attributed his longevity to the care and vigilance of his physician, and who requested him to perform for him the same sad office Beattie had discharged for Campbell—that of closing his eyes in death. His intercourse with Rogers was, however, far less close than that with Campbell.

In 1845 Beattie's wife died, and soon afterwards he gave up regular practice as a physician; but he continued to the close of his life to give medical advice to clergymen, men of letters, and others without accepting professional fees, and otherwise to occupy his time in works of charity. In 1846 he published, for instance, a memoir of his friend Bartlett for the benefit of the artist's family, which realised 400l., and through his influence with the prime minister obtained a pension of 76l. a year for his widow. This was the last of his systematic literary works, but he continued to contribute papers to the Archæological Society, and to write articles for the reviews.

Beattie's only strictly professional work, unless we except his pamphlet on 'Home Climates and Worthing,' was a Latin treatise on pulmonary consumption, the subject of his M.D. thesis at Edinburgh. Some of his works were translated into German and French. He was foreign secretary to the British Archæological Society, fellow of the Ethnological Society, member of the Historical Institute, and of the Institut d'Afrique, Paris.

Dr. Beattie lost 7,000l. by the failure of the Albert Assurance office. This was a great shock to one of his advanced age, and probably accelerated his end; but he bore the loss with manly fortitude, and all he said in reference to it (to a writer in the 'Medical Times') was that 'he should be obliged to give up his charitable donations to the amount of 300l. a year.' Dr. Beattie's own verdict on his laborious, painstaking, benevolent, and interesting life, 'Laboriosè vixi nihil agendo,' is much more modest than correct. He died on 17 March 1875, at 13 Upper Berkeley Street, Portman Square, at the age of eighty-two, and was buried by the side of his wife at Brighton. He had no children. It is understood that he left an autobiography, which has not yet seen the light.

[Scotsman, 26 March 1875; Dumfriesshire and Galloway Herald, 24 March 1875; Medical Times, 3 April 1875; Rogers's Scottish Minstrel; Madden's Literary Life and Correspondence of the Countess of Blessington; Cooper's Men of the Time, 9th edition; Beattie's Journal of a Residence in Germany; Beattie's Life and Correspondence of Thomas Campbell.]

P. B.-A.

BEATTY, Sir WILLIAM, M.D. (d. 1842), surgeon on board the Victory at the battle of Trafalgar, entered the service of the navy at an early age, and saw much service in it in various districts of the globe. In 1806 he was appointed physician to the Greenwich Hospital, an office which he retained till 1840. He attended Lord Nelson after he received his mortal wound, and published 'An Authentic Narrative of the Death of Lord Nelson, with the Circumstances preceding, attending, and subsequent to that Event; the Professional Report of his Lordship's Wound; and several Interesting Anecdotes,' 1807, 2nd edition, 1808. He gives in the book a representation of the ball which killed Nelson, with the pieces of the coat, gold lace, and silk pad which remained fixed in it. The ball Beatty retained in his possession in a crystal case mounted in gold. Beatty obtained the degree of M.D. from the university of St. Andrews on 14 Oct. 1817, was made licentiate of the College of Physicians on 22 Dec. of the same year, and was elected F.R.S. on 30 April 1818. On 26 May 1831