Gully, James Manby (DNB00)

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GULLY, JAMES MANBY, M.D. (1808–1883), physician, born on 14 March 1808 at Kingston, Jamaica, was the son of a coffee planter. He came to England in 1814, and some years later became a pupil of Dr. Pulford at Liverpool, from whose school he was subsequently transferred to the Collège de St. Barbe at Paris. In 1825 he entered the university of Edinburgh as undergraduate in medicine, and after remaining in residence for three years he removed to the École de Médecine at Paris, where he continued his studies during another year as an 'externe' pupil and dresser at the Hôtel Dieu under Dupuytren. In 1829 he took the degree of M.D. at Edinburgh, and became a licentiate of the Royal College of Surgeons in that city. Then proceeding to London he established himself as a physician in 1830. Three years later the fortune which should have fallen to him as his father's heir vanished on the passing of the Emancipation Act. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Medical and Chirurgical Society of London, and a fellow of the Royal Physical Society of Edinburgh. In 1834 he published a translation, with notes, of Tiedemann's 'Physiologie des Menschen.' Between 1833 and 1836 he took considerable part in the editing of the 'London Medical and Surgical Journal,' and of the 'Liverpool Medical Gazette.' In the former he published in 1834-5 a condensed account of Broussais's 'Lectures on General Pathology,' and in the latter, also in 1834-5, 'The Rationale of Morbid Symptoms.' In 1836 he printed for private circulation 'Lectures on the Moral and Physical Attributes of Men of Genius and Talent.' About 1837 he made the acquaintance of James Wilson, with whom he agreed that the old routine of medication was 'effete and inefficient, if not positively harmful.' This spirit of scepticism set them both searching for a better system. In 1842 Wilson returned from the continent 'filled to the brim' with hydropathy, and convinced his friend of the wonderful power of water treatment both in acute and chronic disease. They selected Malvern as a locality for the practice of hydropathy, and settled there. Gully proved the more successful practitioner of the two, and to him in a great measure Malvern owes its prosperity. At the same time he always gave Wilson the credit of introducing hydropathy into England. On the death of Wilson, from whom he had been estranged for some years, Gully wrote a sympathetic obituary notice in the 'Malvern News' for 19 Jan. 1867. As 'Dr. Gullson' he appears in Charles Reade's 'It is never too late to mend.' Carlyle was friendly with him. When Carlyle in August 1851 tried the water cure, Gully pressed him and Mrs. Carlyle to become his guests at Malvern (Correspondence of Carlyle and Emerson, ii. 205). He resigned his practice in 1872 to his partner, William T. Fernie. His retirement was made the occasion of numerous presentations and addresses from all classes. In 1876 Gully's name was frequently mentioned at the sensational inquiry into the death of a barrister named Charles Bravo, who, it was suspected, had been poisoned by his wife. Disclosures as to Gully's intimacy with Mrs. Bravo greatly damaged his reputation. On the conclusion of the inquiry his name was removed from all the medical societies and journals of the day. He died on 27 March 1883. His other writings are: 1. 'An Exposition of the Symptoms, Essential Nature, and Treatment of Neuropathy or Nervousness,' 8vo, London, 1837. 2. 'The Simple Treatment of Disease deduced from the Methods of Expectancy and Revulsion,' 8vo, London, 1842. 3. 'The Water Cure in Chronic Disease,' 12mo, London, 1846, which passed through nine editions. 4. 'The Lady of Belleisle; or a Night in the Bastille. A Drama … adapted from Dumas.' 'Mademoiselle de Belleisle,' first produced at Drury Lane Theatre on 4 Dec. 1839, and printed in vol. xci. of T. H. Lacy's 'Acting Edition of Plays,' 12mo, London, 1850. 5. 'A Guide to Domestic Hydrotherapeia,' 8vo, London, 1863; 2nd edit. 1869. 6. 'A Monograph on Fever and its Treatment by Hydrotherapeutic Means,'8vo, London, 1885, edited, with a preface, by the author's son, William Court Gully, Q.C., M.P. With W. Macleod he edited vol. i. of the shortlived 'Water Cure Journal and Hygienic Magazine,' 8vo, London, 1848. He edited also 'Drawings descriptive of Spirit Life and Progress. By a Child of twelve years of age. Series i.,' 4to, London [1874].

[J. Morris's Dr. Gully and Malvern; T. H. Ward's Men of the Reign, p. 380; Times, 5 April 1883, p. 5; Men of the Time, 8th edit., p. 450; Palatine Note-book, iii. 215-16; London and Provincial Medical Directory, 1871, p. 397.]

G. G.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.143
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

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335 i 15f.e. Gully, James M.: for Two years read Three years