Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Neale, Adam

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NEALE, ADAM, M.D. (d. 1832), army physician and author, was born in Scotland and educated in Edinburgh, where he graduated M.D. on 13 Sept. 1802, his thesis being published as ‘Disputatio de Acido Nitrico,’ 8vo, Edinburgh. He was admitted a licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians, London, on 25 June 1806, and during the Peninsular war acted as physician to the forces, being also one of the physicians extraordinary to the Duke of Kent. In 1809 he published, in ‘Letters from Portugal and Spain,’ an interesting account of the operations of the armies under Sir John Moore and Sir Arthur Wellesley, from the landing of the troops in Mondego Bay to the battle of Coruña. Neale subsequently visited Germany, Poland, Moldavia, and Turkey, where he was physician to the British embassy at Constantinople, and in 1818 gave to the public a description of his tour in ‘Travels through some parts of Germany, Poland, Moldavia, and Turkey,’ 4to, London, 1818, with fifteen coloured plates. About 1814 he settled at Exeter, but removed to Cheltenham in 1820. There he attempted to attract notice by publishing a pamphlet in which he cast a doubt on the genuineness of the waters as served to visitors at the principal spring. It was called ‘A Letter to a Professor of Medicine in the University of Edinburgh respecting the Nature and Properties of the Mineral Waters of Cheltenham,’ 8vo, London, 1820. This discreditable pamphlet was soberly answered by Dr. Thomas Jameson of Cheltenham, in ‘A Refutation,’ &c., and more categorically in ‘Fact versus Assertion,’ by William Henry Halpin the younger, and in ‘A Letter’ by Thomas Newell. The controversy was ended by a satirical pamphlet entitled ‘Hints to a Physician on the opening of his Medical Career at Cheltenham,’ 8vo, Stroud, 1820. As the result of these tactics, Neale was obliged in a few months to return to Exeter. In 1824 he was an unsuccessful candidate for the office of physician to the Devon and Exeter Hospital. He accordingly went to London, and resided for some time at 58 Guilford Street, Russell Square, but died at Dunkirk on 22 Dec. 1832. His sons, Erskine [q. v.] and William Johnson Neale [q. v.], are noticed separately.

Neale, who was fellow of the Linnean Society, published, besides the works mentioned: 1. ‘The Spanish Campaign of 1808,’ contributed to vol. xxvii. of ‘Constable's Miscellany,’ 18mo, Edinburgh, 1828, which is entitled ‘Memorials of the late War,’ 2 parts. 2. ‘Researches respecting the Natural History, Chemical Analysis, and Medicinal Virtues of the Spur or Ergot of Rye when administered as a Remedy in certain States of the Uterus,’ 8vo, London, 1828. 3. ‘Researches to establish the Truth of the Linnæan Doctrine of Animal Contagions,’ &c., 8vo, London, 1831. He also translated from the French of Paolo Assalini ‘Observations on … the Plague, the Dysentery, the Ophthalmy of Egypt,’ &c., 12mo, London, 1804.

[Munk's Coll. of Phys. 1878, iii. 37–8; Gent. Mag. 1833 i. 191; Cat. of Advocates' Library at Edinburgh.]

G. G.