Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Liddell, John

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LIDDELL, Sir JOHN (1794–1868), director-general of the medical department of the royal navy, was born at Dunblane, Scotland, in 1794. He graduated M.D. at Edinburgh University, and became L.R.C.S. in 1821. In 1812 he entered the navy as assistant surgeon, where during the French and Greek wars he saw much service. About 1827 he became director of the hospital at Malta, where he remained for many years. In 1831 he attended Sir Walter Scott, who touched there in the Barham (Lockhart, Scott, pp. 735–6). In 1844 he was promoted inspector of fleets and hospitals, and was afterwards deputy inspector-general of the Haslar Hospital and inspector-general of the Royal Hospital at Greenwich. In 1848 he was knighted, in 1850 was made C.B., and on 9 Feb. 1864 K.C.B. In 1859 he became honorary physician to the queen. In 1854 Liddell was appointed director-general of the medical department of the royal navy, and held the appointment throughout the Crimean war, retiring in 1864. Liddell died at 72 Chester Square, London, on 28 May 1868. He married in 1837 Fanny, second daughter of Robert Clement Sconce. Liddell was F.R.S. (18 June 1846), and held several foreign orders. A journal which he kept at Malta received the Blane medal, but does not seem to have been published.

[Lancet, Brit. Med. Journal, and Illustr. London News, 6 June 1868; Navy Lists; Med. Directories.]

W. A. J. A.