Leared, Arthur (DNB00)

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LEARED, ARTHUR, M.D. (1822–1879), traveller, born at Wexford in 1822, was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, where he graduated B.A. in 1845, M.B. in 1847, and M.D. in 1860, being admitted M.D. 'ad eundem' at Oxford on 7 Feb. 1861 (Foster, Alumni Oxon. iii. 829). He first practised in co. Wexford. In 1851 he went to India, but the climate injured his health, and he made only a short stay there. In 1852 he established himself as physician in London, and in 1854 was admitted a member of the College of Physicians, becoming a fellow in 1871 . During the Crimean war he acted as physician to the British Civil Hospital at Smyrna, and subsequently visited the Holy Land. On his return to London he was connected with the Great Northern Hospital, the Royal Infirmary for Diseases of the Chest, the Metropolitan Dispensary, and St. Mark's Hospital for Fistula. He also lectured on the practice of medicine at the Grosvenor Place School of Medicine. In 1862 he paid the first of four visits to Iceland, the last being in 1874. He became so proficient in the language that he published a book in the vernacular on the 'Fatal Cystic Disease of Iceland.' In the autumn of 1870 he visited America. In 1872 he journeyed to Morocco, and he revisited that country on two other occasions; in 1877 as physician to the Portuguese embassy, and in the summer of 1879. Armed with a free pass from the sultan he was enabled to visit the cities of Morocco, Fez, and Mequinez. He likewise explored unfrequented parts of the country, and among other minor discoveries succeeded in identifying the site of the Roman station of Volubilis, an account of which he communicated to the 'Academy' of 29 June 1878. His medical experiences in Morocco were interesting, and he brought home contributions from the native materia medica. The results of his first two journeys were made known by him in two pleasant and valuable books; his second journey was also the subject of a paper read by him at the geographical section of the British Association, Dublin, in 1878. On a breezy upland, north of Tangier, he secured a piece of land for an intended sanatorium for consumptive patients, as he believed the climate to be more suitable than even that of southern Europe. Leared died at 12 Old Burlington Street, London, on 16 Oct. 1879. Outside his profession he had a large circle of literary, scientific, and artistic friends, who appreciated his many winning qualities and wide culture, and he belonged to many learned bodies at home and abroad. He laid claim to the invention of the double stethoscope. To professional journals he was a frequent contributor, mostly on subjects connected with his principal lines of medical study — the sounds of the heart and the disorders of digestion.

His more important writings are: 1. 'The Causes and Treatment of Imperfect Digestion,' 8vo, London, 1860; 7th edit. 1882, with portrait. 2. 'On the Sounds caused by the Circulation of the Blood,' 8vo, London, 1861, his thesis for the M.D. degree at Dublin. 3. 'Morocco and the Moors.' 8vo, London, 1876; 2nd edit, revised by Sir Richard F. Burton, 1891. 4. 'A Visit to the Court of Morocco.' 8vo, London, 1879. He also edited Amariah Brigham's 'Mental Exertion in relation to Health.' 8vo, 1864 (and 1866).

[Sir R. F. Barton's Introduction to Leared's Morocco, 1891; Proc. of Roy. Goograph. Soc. New Monthly Ser. i. 802; London and Provincial Medical Directory for 1861 and 1879; Lancet, 25 Oct. 1879, p. 633; Brit. Med. Journal, 25 Oct. 1879, pp. 663–4.]

G. G.