Saumarez, Richard (DNB00)

From Wikisource
 
Jump to: navigation, search

SAUMAREZ, RICHARD (1764–1835), surgeon, fifth son of ‘Monsieur Matthieu de Sausmarez’ by his wife ‘Cartarette Le Marchant,’ was born at Guernsey on 13 Nov. 1764. Both parents died when he was young, and he was placed ‘under the affectionate and parent-like care of my eldest brother,’ John, a childless army surgeon, who lived at the old house in the Plaiderie, near the town church in St. Peter Port. Richard, like his two elder brothers, James (afterwards Lord de Saumarez [q. v.]) and Thomas (afterwards General Sir Thomas Saumarez), was of too independent a spirit to allow himself to become a burden to his brother. He therefore came to London and entered as a student of medicine at the London Hospital, where he was apprenticed to Sir William Blizard, then recently appointed a surgeon to the charity. He was admitted a member of the Surgeons' Company on 7 April 1785, when he obtained a modified license, which forbade him to practise in London or within seven miles of the city. This restriction was abolished in the following year; in and after 1786 he was living at Newington Butts, then just outside London and upon the Surrey side of the Thames.

In 1788 Saumarez became surgeon to the Magdalen Hospital, Streatham, an office which he resigned on 1 March 1805. He was then appointed an honorary governor of the institution in recognition of the services he had rendered it. He had a large and lucrative practice in London until 1818, when he retired to Bath, at the desire of his second wife. He died there, at 21 The Circus, on 28 Jan. 1835.

He was twice married: first to ‘Marthe Le Mesurier, fille de Jean le Mesurier, Écrivain, Gouverneur d'Aurigny’ (Alderney), at St. Peter Port, Guernsey, on 6 Jan. 1786. Of several children by this marriage, a son, Richard (1791–1866), became an admiral. His first wife having died of consumption on 13 Nov. 1801, he married, secondly, Elizabeth Enderby, a rich widow and a great-aunt of General Gordon of Khartoum.

Saumarez was a prolific and rather polemical writer, with ideas in advance of his time upon the subject of medical education and the duties of the great medical corporations to their constituents. When, by its own want of business capacity, the Surgeons' Company forfeited its charter in 1796, Saumarez seems to have taken an active part in opposing its reconstruction until assurances were given of better management. These assurances were not forthcoming, and the bill for the reconstruction of the company was thrown out in the House of Lords. The present College of Surgeons was re-established by royal charter in 1800.

Saumarez wrote: 1. ‘A Dissertation on the Universe in general and on the Procession of the Elements in particular,’ London, 8vo, 1795. 2. ‘A New System of Physiology,’ London, 8vo, 1798, 2 vols.; 2nd edit. 8vo, 1799, 2 vols.; 3rd edit. 8vo, 1813, 2 vols. in 1. This work contains irrelevant disquisitions upon the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, as well as upon the constitution and management of the Royal College of Physicians and the Corporation of Surgeons. 3. ‘Principles of Physiological and Physical Science,’ London, 8vo, 1812. 4. ‘Oration before the Medical Society of London,’ 8vo, London, 1813. 5. ‘A Letter on the evil Effects of Absenteeism,’ 8vo, Bath, 1829. 6. ‘On the Function of Respiration in Health and Disease,’ Guernsey, 1832. He also contributed an interesting paper, ‘Observations on Generation and the Principles of Life,’ to the ‘London Medical and Physical Journal,’ 1799, ii. 242, 321. It is the first he wrote, and contains the germ of most of his subsequent writings.

[Information kindly given by the Rev. G. E. Lee, M.A., F.S.A., rector of St. Peter Port, Guernsey; by the Rev. C. R. de Havilland, a grandson, and by Miss Gimingham, a granddaughter of Richard Saumarez; by the Rev. W. Watkins, warden of the Magdalen Hospital, Streatham; and by Edward Trimmer, esq., the secretary of the Royal College of Surgeons of England.]

D’A. P.

Elizabeth Enderby was a widow of Joseph Hetherington, believed to be a Merchant.She died 29/2/1846; which was not a leap year therefore no 29/2. Keith R. Dawson Toowoomba Qld.