Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Herdman, John
HERDMAN, JOHN, M.D. (1762?–1842), medical writer, was born in Scotland about 1762. He became a member of the Medical Society of Edinburgh on 14 Dec. 1793 (List of Members, 1820, p. 40), and a member of the College of Surgeons of Edinburgh on 26 Dec. 1797, being subsequently elected a fellow (List of Fellows of Coll. of Surg. of Edinburgh, 1874, p. 36). He practised for some years at Leith. On 12 July 1800 he took the degree of M.D. at Aberdeen, and on 31 March 1806 was admitted a licentiate of the College of Physicians. Removing to London, he was chosen physician to the City Dispensary and physician to the Duke of Sussex. He withdrew from practice upon entering Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1814, and M.A. in 1817. Then, having received ordination in the church of England, he preached occasionally at Alnwick, Howick, and other towns in Northumberland. He died at Lesbury House, near Alnwick, on 26 Feb. 1842, aged 80 (Gent. Mag. 1842, pt. i. p. 447). His marriage with the daughter of C. Hay of Lesbury brought him considerable wealth, a large portion of which he spent in charity. His writings are: 1. ‘An Essay on the Causes and Phenomena of Animal Life,’ 8vo, Edinburgh, 1795; 2nd edit. London, 1806. 2. ‘Dissertations on White Swelling of the Joints and the Doctrine of Inflammation,’ 8vo, Edinburgh, 1802. 3. ‘Discourse on the Epidemic Disease termed Influenza,’ 8vo, Edinburgh, 1803. 4. ‘Discourses on the Management of Infants and the Treatment of their Diseases,’ 8vo, Edinburgh, 1804; London, 1807. 5. ‘A Letter proposing a Plan for the Improvement of Dispensaries and the Medical Treatment of the Diseased Poor,’ 8vo, London, 1809.
[Munk's Coll. of Phys. 1878, iii. 33; Dict. of Living Authors, 1816, p. 153; Watt's Bibl. Brit.]