Tweedie, Alexander (DNB00)

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TWEEDIE, ALEXANDER (1794–1884), physician, was born in Edinburgh on 29 Aug. 1794, and received his early education at the Royal High School of that city. In 1809 he commenced his medical studies at the university of Edinburgh, and about the same time becoming a pupil of a surgeon to the Royal Infirmary, named Wishart, distinguished himself in Edinburgh for his skill in ophthalmic disease. On 1 Aug. 1815 Tweedie took the degree of M.D., and, turning his attention to surgical pathology, in 1817 became a fellow of the Edinburgh College of Surgeons. He was then elected one of the two house-surgeons to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, Robert Liston (1794–1847) [q. v.] being the other. In 1818 Dr. Tweedie commenced practice in Edinburgh with the view of devoting himself to ophthalmic surgery, but in 1820 he removed to London, took a residence in Ely Place, and on 25 June 1822 was admitted a licentiate of the College of Physicians. He became a fellow of the college on 4 July 1838, was conciliarius in 1853, 1854, and 1855, and Lumleian lecturer in 1858 and 1859. In 1866 he was elected an honorary fellow of the King's and Queen's College of Physicians in Ireland.

In 1822 he was appointed assistant physician to the London Fever Hospital, and in 1824, on the retirement of John Armstrong (1784–1829) [q. v.], physician to the hospital, an office which he filled for thirty-eight years. He resigned it in 1861, when he was appointed consulting physician and one of the vice-presidents. In 1836 he was elected physician to the Foundling Hospital; he was also physician to the Standard Assurance Company, examiner in medicine at the university of London, and was an honorary member of the Medical Psychological Association. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society on 8 Feb. 1838. He died at his residence, Bute Lodge, Twickenham, on 30 May 1884, continuing to practise at the age of eighty-nine years. Dr. Tweedie was a voluminous writer. He was joint-author with C. Gaselee of ‘A Practical Treatise on Cholera,’ 1832, 8vo, and was the original and sole projector of the ‘Cyclopædia of Practical Medicine’ (London, 1831–5, 4 vols. 8vo), comprising treatises on the nature and treatment of diseases, materia medica and therapeutics, and medical jurisprudence. Tweedie was a large contributor, and was one of the editors. He planned and edited the ‘Library of Medicine,’ in eight volumes, which appeared in 1840–42, 8vo; and was the author of ‘Clinical Illustrations of Fever’ (London, 1828, 8vo), and of ‘Lectures on the Distinctive Characters, Pathology, and Treatment of Continued Fevers,’ 1862, 8vo.

[Lancet, 1884; Edinburgh Medical Journal, 1884; Munk's Coll. of Phys. iii. 252; Churchill's Medical Directory; Records of the Royal Society; Cat. Brit. Mus. Library; Records of Royal High School, Edinburgh.]

W. W. W.