Southey, Henry Herbert (DNB00)
|←Southey, Caroline Anne||Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 53
Southey, Henry Herbert
SOUTHEY, HENRY HERBERT, M.D. (1783–1865), physician, son of Robert Southey by his wife, Margaret Hill, and younger brother of Robert Southey [q. v.], the poet, was born at Bristol in 1783. After education at private schools in and near Yarmouth, his brother Robert proposed to establish him in his house in London in order that he might study anatomy under Sir Anthony Carlisle [q. v.] at Westminster Hospital, and then to send him either to Edinburgh or to Germany (Southey, Life and Corresp. ii. 107). The first project fell through, and Henry studied surgery at Norwich under Philip Meadows Martineau (d. 1828), uncle of Harriet Martineau [q. v.] There he formed the acquaintance of William Taylor [q. v.] of Norwich, who superintended his extra-professional studies. In November 1803 he entered the university of Edinburgh, where Sir William Knighton [q. v.] and Dr. Robert Gooch [q. v.] were his fellow students and friends. He had acquired remarkable facility in colloquial Latin, and used to talk it with his friends. He graduated M.D. on 24 June 1806, reading an interesting dissertation ‘De ortu et progressu syphilidis’ (Edinburgh, 1806, 8vo), in which he maintained the American origin of the disease. He then studied for a winter in London, and settled in the following year at Durham, but removed to London by the advice of Sir William Knighton in 1812. He became a licentiate of the College of Physicians on 22 Dec. 1812, and was elected a fellow on 25 June 1823. On 25 April 1825 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society. He delivered the Harveian oration in 1847, was elected physician to the Middlesex Hospital on 17 Aug. 1815 and held office till April 1827. He was appointed physician in ordinary to George IV in 1823, in 1830 physician extraordinary to Queen Adelaide, and in 1833 lord chancellor's visitor in lunacy. He became a commissioner in lunacy in September 1836, and was Gresham professor of medicine from 1834 to 1865. On 16 June 1847 he was created hon. D.C.L. at Oxford. He lived in Queen Anne Street, Cavendish Square, died on 13 June 1865, and was buried in Highgate cemetery.
His wife Louisa died in January 1830, leaving seven young children (Southey, Life and Corresp. vi. 84–5; Gent. Mag. 1830, i. 281).
Southey published in 1814 ‘Observations on Pulmonary Consumption’ (London, 8vo). The work does not contain much of permanent value, but is written in good English. When recommending the observation of the state of the pupil, he curiously remarks: ‘In the employment of the iris the porter and the peeress are alike;’ but good sense and considerable medical reading are obvious in most parts of the book. He also wrote the life of Gooch in the ‘Lives of British Physicians,’ published in 1830 [see Macmichael, William], and made contributions to periodical publications.
[Munk's Coll. of Phys. iii. 272; works; Quarterly Rev. lxxiii. 35 et sqq.; Lancet, 1865, i. 665; Gent. Mag. 1865, ii. 125; Robberd's Memoir of William Taylor of Norwich, containing his Correspondence with R. Southey, 1843.]