Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Farre, John Richard

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FARRE, JOHN RICHARD, M.D. (1775-1862), physician, son of Richard John Farre, a medical practitioner, was born on 31 Jan. 1775 in Barbadoes. After school education in the island he studied medicine under his father, and in 1792 came to England and studied medicine for a year at the school then formed by the united hospitals of St. Thomas’s and Guy’s. At the end of 1793 he became a member of the corporation of surgeons, and went with Mr. Foster, surgeon to Guy’s Hospital, to France in Lord Moira’s expedition. After the expedition failed he came back to London, and afterwards entered practice in the island of Barbadoes. In 1800 he returned to England, studied for two years in Edinburgh, and took the degree of M.D. at Aberdeen on 22 Jan. 1806. He became licentiate of the College of Physicians of London on 31 March 1806, and began practice as a physician. He was one of the founders of the Royal London Ophthalmic Hospital, to which he was physician for fifty years. His house was in Charterhouse Square, and he had two sons who attained distinction in medicine, Dr. Frederick John Farre [q. v.] and Dr. Arthur Farre [q.v.]. He edited Dr. Jones’s book on 'Arterial and Secondary Hæmorrhage' in 1805, and 'Saunders on Diseases of the Eye' in 1811. He also edited the 'Journal of Morbid Anatomy, Ophthalmic Medicine and Pharmaceutical Analysis.' He paid close attention to morbid anatomy and wrote 'The Morbid Anatomy of the Liver,' 4to, London, 1812-15, and 'Pathological Researches on Malformations of the Human Heart,' London, 1814. This valuable work contains an account of nearly all the cases recorded in England up to its date, and of several observed by the author himself. His specimens, with others, illustrative of other parts of morbid anatomy, are preserved in the museum of St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, to which they were presented by his sons. His portrait, by Thomas Phillips, R.A., is to be seen in the board-room of the Ophthalmic Hospital in Moorfields, London. He retired from practice in 1856, died on 7 May 1862, and is buried at Kensal Green.

[Munk’s Coll of Phys. iii. 33; a Descriptive Catalogue of the Anatomical and Pathological Museum of St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, 1884, vol.ii]

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