Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 61.djvu/390

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the anatomical school, then existing in Kinnerton Street, on diseases of the chest. In 1839 he succeeded John Elliotson [q. v.] as professor of medicine and physician to University College, and moved to Holles Street, Cavendish Square. He wrote in 1840 the part on diseases of the chest in Tweedie's ‘Library of Medicine,’ and in 1840 was elected a fellow of the College of Physicians. He was early in life possessed with the idea that he could improve the existing state of things in the medical world, and soon after his admission endeavoured to alter the constitution of the college, but received little support. He became a censor in 1846 and 1847, and delivered the Lumleian lectures on ‘Successes and Failures in Medicine’ in 1862. He took part in 1841 in founding the Consumption Hospital at Brompton, and continued throughout life to do all he could for it. In 1843 he published a concise summary of medicine entitled ‘Principles of Medicine,’ of which a second edition appeared in 1848, and a third in 1856. When the Pathological Society was formed in 1846 he was elected its first president. He moved to 24 Upper Brook Street, and was there engaged in an extensive practice for many years. He was chiefly consulted as to diseases of the chest, but was not negligent of other parts of medicine. In 1869 the Duchess of Somerset, disturbed by the painful and to her unexpected death of her son, Lord St. Maur, from aneurism of the aorta, printed for private circulation an account of the illness, with reflections on the conduct of Williams. He brought an action for libel, with the result that the aspersions were unreservedly withdrawn. Six of the chief physicians of the time—Watson, Burrows, Jenner, Gull, Quain, and Sibson—and three of the chief surgeons—Fergusson, Paget, and Erichsen—issued an opinion in support of Williams's diagnosis and treatment of the case, and he himself published an ‘Authentic Narrative’ of the whole circumstances, which reached a second edition. In 1871 with his son, Dr. Charles Theodore Williams, he published a general treatise on pulmonary consumption. From 1873 to 1875 he was president of the Royal Medical and Chirurgical Society, and in 1874 was appointed physician extraordinary to the queen. In 1875 he gave up practice and retired to Cannes, where he continued astronomical studies, for which he had had a liking all his life. Before leaving London he made an attempt to alter the constitution of the Royal Society. A committee was appointed to consider his views, but reported against them. He published his autobiography, entitled ‘Memoirs of Life and Work,’ in 1884, and died on 24 March 1889 at Cannes. A complete list of his works is printed in the ‘Catalogue of the Library of the Surgeon-general's Office, United States Army,’ vol. xvi.

[Memoirs of Life and Work, 1884, with portrait; Memoir by Sir E. H. Sieveking in Medico-Chirurgical Transactions, 1890.]

N. M.


WILLIAMS, Sir CHARLES JAMES WATKIN (1828–1884), judge, born on 23 Sept. 1828, was the eldest son of Peter Williams, rector of Llansannan, Denbighshire (afterwards of Llangar, Merionethshire), by Lydia Sophia, daughter of the Rev. James Price of Plas-yn-Lysfaen, Denbighshire. After leaving Ruthin grammar school he studied medicine under Erichsen at University College Hospital, where he won the gold medal for comparative anatomy, and acted for a time as house-surgeon. He became the lifelong friend of Sir Henry Thompson and Sir John Russell Reynolds [q. v.] But he soon determined to abandon medicine for law. He spent a few terms at St. Mary Hall, Oxford, where he matriculated on 1 May 1851, but he found the place uncongenial, and never graduated. In the same i year (1851) he entered at the Middle Temple, and read in the chambers of Horatio Lloyd, the well-known special pleader. When called to the bar three years later, he practised in the same branch of the profession, and in 1857 published 'An Introduction to the Principles and Practice of Pleading in Civil Actions in the Supreme Courts of Law at Westminster.' This work established his reputation and brought him large practice. It continued in use as the standard text-book for students at the Inns of Court till the passing of the Judicature Acts. In 1859 Williams was named 'tubman' of the court of exchequer. He went first the home circuit, and afterwards the south-eastern. He seldom led, and was never ambitious of leading, and relied upon logicality and clearness of statement rather than upon rhetoric or declamation; but he was remarkable for a certain dry humour, and was quite indifferent to hostile criticism. He took silk in 1873. He made a speciality of financial and mercantile cases, such as that of Anderson v. Morice in 1876. In Thomas v. The Queen, in which he had Sir John (afterwards Lord-justice) Holker [q. v.], Sir Richard (afterwards Lord-justice) Baggallay, and Charles Synge Christopher (afterwards Lord) Bowen against him, Williams vindicated the title of the subject to sue the crown for unliquidated damages resulting from breach of contract.