Wilmot, Edward (DNB00)

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WILMOT, Sir EDWARD (1693–1786), baronet, physician, second son of Robert Wilmot and Joyce, daughter of William Sacheverell of Staunton in Leicestershire, was born at his father's seat of Chaddesden near Derby on 29 Oct. 1693. His ancestors were of account at Sutton-upon-Soar, Nottinghamshire, for some centuries, and in 1539 migrated into Derbyshire. He entered St. John's College, Cambridge, and graduated B.A. in 1714, was elected a fellow, took his M.A. degree in 1718 and M.D. in 1725. He was admitted a candidate or member of the College of Physicians on 30 Sept. 1725, and was elected a fellow on 30 Sept. 1726. In 1729 and 1741 he was a censor, and a Harveian orator in 1735. He was elected F.R.S. on 29 Jan. 1730. From 1725 he practised as a physician in London, and was elected physician to St. Thomas's Hospital, and in 1740 appointed physician-general to the army. In April 1731 he was appointed physician-extraordinary to Queen Caroline, and soon became physician in ordinary, and physician to Frederick, prince of Wales. He became physician extraordinary to George II on the queen's death in 1737 and physician in ordinary 1742. In 1736 John Fothergill [q. v.], who in after life spoke with respect of his skill, became his pupil. When Henry Pelham had lost two sons by sore throat in 1739, Wilmot preserved the life of his wife, Lady Catharine Pelham, by lancing her throat (Nichols, Lit. Anecd. ix. 738). In March 1751, with Matthew Lee [q. v.], he attended Frederick, prince of Wales, in his last illness, and does not seem to have anticipated his death (Bubb Doddington, Diary, p. 98). Archbishop Thomas Herring [q. v.] was his patient in a serious attack of pleurisy in 1753 (letter of Herring in Nichols's Illustrations, iii. 457). He was created a baronet on 15 Feb. 1759. On the death of George II, Wilmot, with John Ranby [q. v.], acquainted George III with two wishes which the late king had confided to them—that his body should be embalmed with a double quantity of perfumes, and that it should be laid close to that of the queen. George III at once assented (Horace Walpole, Memoirs, 1894, i. 7). Wilmot became physician in ordinary to George III in 1760, left London next year, and lived in Nottingham, but moved thence to Heringstone in Dorset, where he died on 21 Nov. 1786 (Gent. Mag. 1786, p. 1093), and was buried in that county in the church of Monkton, where his epitaph remains. He married Sarah Marsh, daughter of Richard Mead [q. v.] She died on 11 Sept. 1785, aged 83; her portrait, painted by Joseph Wright, A.R.A., belongs to the family, as does a portrait of Wilmot by Thomas Beach (Cat. Second Loan Exhib. Nos. 610, 615). He was succeeded in his baronetcy by his son, Robert Mead Wilmot, and had also two daughters, Ann and Jane.

[Munk's Coll. of Phys. ii. 106; Burke's Peerage and Baronetage.]

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