Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Shearman, William

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SHEARMAN or SHERMAN, WILLIAM (1767–1861), physician and medical writer, born at Harwich in January 1767, graduated M.D. at Edinburgh on 12 Sept. 1807 (with a dissertation on pneumonia), and was admitted a licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians, London, on 11 April 1808. He commenced practice as a physician in London, but soon removed to Maidstone, whence he returned to the metropolis in 1813. He practised for many years in Northampton Square, Clerkenwell, and subsequently, until his death, at 17 Canonbury Villas, Islington. He was physician to the London Dispensary from 1813 to 1824, to the Infirmary for Children in the Waterloo Road from 1816, and to the West London Infirmary and Lying-in Institution in Villiers Street from 1821. He was the senior member of the medical staff when the last-named institution became the Charing Cross Hospital, a position which he retained in the new hospital until 1862. To the Charing Cross Hospital school of medicine he rendered important services by his annual lectures on the theory and practice of medicine. His 'Introductory Lecture' was published in 1834. In 1852 he became consulting physician, and retired from practice. For several years he filled the office of treasurer to the Medical Society of London, in 1824 was president of the Society, and in 1834 published an oration delivered before it. He died on 21 Nov. 1861, at the age of ninety-four, and was buried at Highgate cemetery.

In 1799 he was one of the staff of a periodical called 'The New Medical and Physical Journal, or Annals of Medicine, Natural History, and Chemistry,' and from 1810 to 1812 he was editor. He continued his connection with the publication until 1815. He wrote articles on 'Epilepsy,' 'Vaccination,' and 'Circulation,' in the 'Medical Reports,' 1824, and published: 1. 'An Essay on the Nature, Causes, and Treatment of Water on the Brain,' London, 1825. 2. 'Observations illustrative of the History and Treatment of Chronic Debility, the Prolific Source of Indigestion, Spasmodic Diseases, and various Nervous Affections,' 1824, 8vo.

[Lancet, 1861; Medical Times and Gazette, 1861; Monk's Coll. of Phys.; Churchill's Medical Directory; Catalogue of Brit. Mus. Library.]

W. W. W.