Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Daniell, William Freeman

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DANIELL, WILLIAM FREEMAN, M.D. (1818–1865), botanist, was born at Liverpool in 1818. In 1841 he became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons, England, and shortly after he entered the medical service of the army. He served the whole period of assistant-surgeon on the pestilential coast of West Africa, whence he sent home observations on many economic plants, accompanied by specimens; one communication being on the Katemfé, or miraculous fruit of the Soudan, which was afterwards named Phrynium Danielli, Benn. A more important memoir on the frankincense tree of West Africa led to the establishment of the genus Daniellia, Benn., in compliment to the botanist who first worked out the subject. On his return to England in 1853 he was promoted to staff-surgeon. He next spent some time in the West Indies, subsequently proceeding to China in 1860 with the expedition which took Pekin, of which operation he was a spectator. He again visited the West Indies, returning from Jamaica in September 1864 with health completely broken down, and after lingering nine months died at Southampton 26 June 1865. His octavo volume on ‘Medical Topography and Native Diseases of the Gulf of Guinea,’ 1849, is considered to show great observation and ability. His detached papers amount to twenty in various journals.

[Pharm. Journ. 2nd ser. 1865–6, vii. 86; Proc. Linn. Soc. 1865–6, 69; Cat. Sci. Papers, ii. 146; B. D. Jackson's Veg. Tech. 46.]

B. D. J.