Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Palmer, Shirley

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PALMER, SHIRLEY (1786–1852), medical writer, born at Coleshill, Warwickshire, 27 Aug. 1786, was son of Edward Palmer, solicitor, by his second wife, Benedicta Mears. Educated at Coleshill grammar school, and at Harrow, under the Rev. Joseph Drury, D.D., Palmer became a pupil of Mr. Salt, surgeon, of Lichfield, father of Henry Salt [q. v.], the Abyssinian traveller, and subsequently studied under Abernethy at St. Bartholomew's Hospital, London. He became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1807, and graduated M.D. at Glasgow in 1815. Settling at Tamworth, Staffordshire, he was twice elected high bailiff of the town. In 1831 he established a practice at Birmingham, but still maintained his residence and connection at Tamworth. He died 11 Nov. 1852, at Tamworth, and was buried in the new churchyard, which had once formed part of his garden. He married, on 29 Sept. 1813, Marie Josephine Minette Breheault, a French refugee of good family.

Palmer published: 1. ‘The Swiss Exile,’ a juvenile denunciation of Napoleon in heroic verse in thirty or forty pages (4to, n.d.), dedicated to Miss Anna Seward. 2. ‘Popular Illustrations of Medicine,’ London, 1829, 8vo. 3. ‘Popular Lectures on the Vertebrated Animals of the British Islands,’ London, 1832, 8vo. 4. ‘A Pentaglot Dictionary [French, English, Greek, Latin, and German] of the Terms employed in Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology, practical Medicine,’ &c., London, 1845.

Palmer edited the ‘New Medical and Physical Journal,’ along with William Shearman, M.D., and James Johnson, from 1815 to 1819; the ‘London Medical Repository,’ along with D. Uwins and Samuel Frederick Gray, from 1819 to 1821. To both periodicals he contributed largely, as well as to the ‘Lichfield Mercury’ while John Woolrich was editor, and to the first five volumes of the ‘Analyst.’

[His works in the British Museum; Simms's Bibliotheca Staffordiensis.]

C. F. R. P.