Greenhow, Edward Headlam (DNB00)

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GREENHOW, EDWARD HEADLAM (1814–1888), physician, born in North Shields in 1814, was grandson of E. M. Greenhow, M.D., of North Shields, and was nephew of T. M. Greenhow, M.D., F.R.C.S. (1791-1881), surgeon for many years to the Newcastle Infirmary, a notable operator and sanitary reformer (see British Medical Journal, 1881, ii. 799). He studied medicine at Edinburgh and Montpelier, and practised for eighteen years in partnership with his father in North Shields and Tynemouth. In 1852 he graduated M.D. at Aberdeen, and in 1853 settled in London. From 1854 he frequently reported on epidemics and questions of public health to the board of health and the privy council, and he served on several royal commissions. In 1855 he was appointed lecturer on public health at St. Thomas's Hospital; joining the medical school of the Middlesex Hospital as assistant physician and joint lecturer on medical jurisprudence in 1861, he became full physician to the hospital in 1870, lecturer on medicine in 1871, and consulting physician in 1870. In 1875 he delivered the Croonian lectures at the Royal College of Physicians on Addison's disease. The Clinical Society was founded in 1867 mainly by his exertions; he was its treasurer from the commencement to 1879, when he became president. He was a zealous and successful teacher and investigator, and an excellent and thorough-going man of business. He was twice married, first in 1842 to the widow of W. Barnard, esq. (she died in 1857, leaving one son, the Rev. Edward Greenhow); and secondly to Eliza, daughter of Joseph Hume, M.P. (she died in 1878, leaving two daughters). Greenhow retired in 1881 to Reigate, Surrey, and died suddenly at Charing Cross Station on 22 Nov. 1888 on his return from a meeting of the pension commutation board, to which he was medical officer.

Greenhow wrote:

  1. ‘On Diphtheria,’ 1860.
  2. ‘On Addison's Disease,’ 1866.
  3. ‘On Chronic Bronchitis,’ 1869.
  4. ‘Croonian Lectures on Addison's Disease,’ 1875.
  5. ‘On Bronchitis and the Morbid Conditions connected with it,’ 1878.

He also prepared the following parliamentary reports: ‘The different Proportions of Deaths from certain Diseases in different Districts in England and Wales,’ 1858, an especially valuable memoir ‘On the Prevalence and Causes of Diarrhœa in certain Towns;’ ‘Districts with Excessive Mortality from Lung Diseases;’ ‘Excessive Mortality of Young Children among Manufacturing Populations,’ appendix to ‘Report of Medical Officer of Privy Council,’ 1859-61. Many papers by Greenhow appeared in the medical journals.

[Lancet, 1888, ii. 1104-6.]

G. T. B.